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History of its Protection

‘Salvem els volcans!’ (Save our volcanoes!) was the battle-cry back in the 1970s of those witnessing, outraged, the systematic destruction of the best preserved volcanic zone in the Iberian Peninsula. Hand-in hand with the popular protests aspiring to promote national pride (as a result of the restoration of the Generalitat as the government of Catalonia), this outrage aimed to conserve local territorial integrity, the scenery and landscape, and Catalan natural values and heritage.

The beginnings

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The urban and industrial growth of the region in the 1970s brought with it destruction that seriously threatened the area's natural values. Sectors of society began to mobilise, their efforts culminating in the creation of a pressure group Comissió Promotora per a la Protecció de la Zona Volcànica (Commission to Protect the Volcanic Landscape) in 1976 and, the following year, the final acts of the Campanya per a la Salvaguarda del Patrimoni Natural dels Països Catalans (Campaign for the Protection of Catalan Natural Heritage) organised by the Catalan Culture Congress.
 Eventually, the Catalan Parliament unanimously passed Law 2/1982, 3 March, protecting La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone, which was declared a Natural Site of National Interest with the aim of ensuring the conservation of its flora, geomorphological heritage and particular beauty, in view of the unique nature of the territory (Art. 1). Likewise, this law declared a score of integral reserves of geobotanical interest to prevent any activities that might lead to the destruction, deterioration, transformation or disfigurement of their relief or flora (Art. 2). Decree 71/1986, 13 February, on the approval of the definition of the limits of the Natural Park and the nature reserves of La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone, establishes the Park boundaries and the exact position of the properties included within the natural reserves.


Reclassification and Special Protection Plan

Pintades de protesta al Croscat

Law 12/1985 on natural areas of Catalonia reclassified this Natural Site of National Interest as a natural park and the integral reserves of geobotanical interest as natural reserves (Final Provision 1a). This Law states that the basic aim of natural parks is to protect recognised natural values and to ensure that their conservation is compatible with the organised use of their resources and the activities of their inhabitants (Art. 25). The purpose of natural reserves, on the other hand, is the complete preservation of the totality of the ecosystems they contain or all of their parts (Art. 24).
The first Natural Park Special Protection Plan was approved in 1994, while the current Plan was approved in 2010 by Government Agreement 161/2010 (DOGC 5735, 15/10/2010). These special plans are the main instrument used to manage the park area and the exploitation of its resources. This instrument regulates the permitted uses of each area of the park in accordance with the authority conferred under the Catalan law of territorial organisation, and defines the criteria and areas of action that are to be developed.

Updated date: 06.08.2015