Department of Tourism · GURELUR

GURELUR - Fondo Navarro para la Protección del Medio Natural Manuel de Falla, 8
31005 Pamplona/Iruña
Tel.: 948 15 10 77 · 606 980 068
Non-profit-making association
Foundation year: 1991
Action area: Navarre

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Birding in Navarra, a deceit of the Tourism Department

Tourism Department stand at FIO
Tourism Department stand at FIO

The Tourism Service’s “Birding” campaign, like all of the other campaigns conducted by the administration, is only intended for publicity and profit. Those of us who devote ourselves to environment-related issues in Navarra, are unfortunately accustomed to the Administration’s blunders and abandonments in all aspects relating to environmental management. Nevertheless, when we receive a phone call from the Tourism Service of the Navarra Government for an interview to explain to us a project allegedly aimed at promoting bird watching in our Community, we accept a meeting to maintain hope that one day the Government makes something environmentally acceptable.
In the first meeting about the development of the tourism project, called at present “Bird watching in Navarra” BIRDING NAVARRA, we were invited to submit reports about both of our bird watching facilities – Bird Migration Centre “Roncesvalles – Orreaga” and Arguedas Biological Station -, with a view of incorporating them into an alleged birding network and with the logical offer of helping in their equipment and operation to be able to properly attend to people who came to them, at the call of the Birding in Navarra activity.

Environmental activities about birds at Gurelur’s Migration Centre Orreaga
Environmental activities about birds at Gurelur’s Migration Centre Orreaga

From Gurelur we understood that the Tourism Service contacted us because of our vast experience in the world of birds, it is not in vain that some people who form part of Gurleur have been conducting these type of activities for more than 20 years and establishing, for example, injured birds care activities, bird species protection projects such as those dedicated at harriers and storks, observation centres previously mentioned, storks’ observatories, scientific bird ringing, and collaboration and implementation of various bird censures. Once we submitted the reports to the Tourism Service – which required an investment of time and money from our Navarra’s birdlife protection and dissemination activities -, we have had to observe for more than one year how the Tourism Service has focused on making large economic investments by inserting advertorials in the different communication media, taking part in fair trade by trying to sell something that doesn’t exist, hosting publicity events, editing various expensive materials, and recruiting several companies and people without investing even a single euro to support centres that provide the service that they claim to promote with their ghost project. In other words, they are behaving the same way the Environmental Department has in the last few years, making large capital outlays in misleading advertising and in the payment of allowances and perks for technicians who participated in these malpractices, knowing that what theyare selling are lies and sometimes it goes against the birds. This behaviour astonishes us, so we decided to talk with the politicians of the Tourism Service to remind them that we were involved in their project and they were obviating us. Finally, questioning their behaviour on this issue, we are only ever referred to the Environmental Department - certainly to continue spending money in such an irresponsible way - but what do they care if what they are wasting are our taxes. Incidentally, the Environmental Department, namely Mr Grau, Mr Eraso and Mr Alonso, have decided this year to use the grants for their Department, which means that both Departments are working with similar obscenity. Fortunately, we can count on the help of people and companies with a genuine interest in supporting environmental initiatives, which ensures us the maintenance of our bird watching activities, as we have been doing for over 20 years. Naturally, after all of this public money was wasted, the number of people that have come to Navarra to bird watch has not increased. But what it has increased is the number of diners in regional feeders of some departments. Never before have we so desired to fly like the birds, but from time to time, we wish to fly high and lose sight of all this corruption.

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