12 Apr Mission to Doñana-El Rocío
From the 23 to 26 of March Jesús García-Varela and Jordi Falgarona-Bosch, members of the Delos Initiative working group, visited the Doñana area, in southwestern Spain, invited by the Dirección General de la Red de Espacios Naturales Protegidos y Servicios Ambientales (RENPSA) of the regional government of Andalusia.
The aim of the mission was to conduct a series of interviews with key stakeholders of the Doñana-El Rocío case study, following the questionnaire of the Pilot Plan. With the help of Águeda Villa, a local geographer who acted as a facilitator on behalf of RENPSA, the mission was able to contact with local authorities (Almonte town Council Major); officers from Doñana National Park and Doñana Natural Park; representatives of the “Hermandad Matriz de Almonte” y “Hermandad de Villamanrique”, main brotherhoods heaving different responsibilities on the pilgrimage organization and El Rocío shrine custodianship; heads of research centers, both natural (Estación Biológica de Doñana) and cultural (Centro de Estudios Rocieros, Museo de El Rocío, Universidad de Huelva).
The Delos Initiative aims were very welcomed. The need for a more cooperative approach is deeply understood by all interest groups involved. The mission was able to really gain a very comprehensive understanding of the issues in a short period of time, which will allow preparing a good case study for the Montserrat workshop.
This endeavour would have not been possible without the involvement of the General Director of RENPSA, Ms. Rosario Pintos who warmly welcomed the proposal for Doñana-El Rocío as a Delos Initiative case study, and supported its development.