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Iberian lynx

Spain's global approach to the environment

Spain understands the efforts to conserve the environment as being an issue of global concern, and is thus involved in several protection programmes.

To protect its wetlands, Spain is part of the Ramsar Convention, and has 74 designated wetland spaces. It has also signed the protection agreement for Wild Birds within the framework of the European Wild Birds Directive, and various marine areas have also been classified as protected areas under the Mediterranean Action Plan agreement. Moreover, the protection programmes created by UNESCO under the World Heritage Convention have recognised four Spanish National Parks: Doñana, Garajonay (on the island of La Gomera), Teide (Tenerife) and Monte Perdido (in the Pyrenees). Furthermore, UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere programme includes 45 biosphere reserves in Spanish territory. Spain also takes an active role in defending the global environment and has signed numerous agreements and protocols for the worldwide protection of nature, including particularly agreements in the area of air pollution, protection of the ozone layer, waste and dangerous effluents, whale hunting, climate change, protection of endangered species and defence of tropical rainforests.

Spain is also home to numerous nature areas which have been accredited by the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST), as well as a series of destinations belonging to be EDEN network (European Destinations of Excellence). Both these initiatives are organised under the auspices of the European Commission.