Ecological Transition presents the DELTA project to promote economic sustainability in La Palma

The Department of Ecological Transition and Energy of the Government of the Canary Islands presents the DELTA project in Tazacorte, a comprehensive program for monitoring and sustainable management of the marine ecosystem of the lava delta in La Palma. Through this project, the observation of the marine environment affected by the island’s volcanic eruption in 2021 is promoted, along with the monitoring of climate change and the creation of permanent scientific infrastructure.

The Minister of Ecological Transition and Energy, Mariano H. Zapata, inaugurated the event along with Manuel González, Mayor of Tazacorte; Javier Llamas, Mayor of Los Llanos de Aridane; Gregorio Clemente Alonso, Mayor of Fuencaliente; and Joaquín Hernández, Director of the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) and coordinator of the DELTA project.

According to the Minister of Ecological Transition and Energy, DELTA is a project that seeks to “generate a real impact on the economy of La Palma” by providing “multidisciplinary data with direct application in the field of the blue economy, sustainability, and biodiversity preservation. ” Likewise, Zapata stated that “investment in innovative projects and scientific advances like this one is essential in our transition process towards a more sustainable model for the Canary Islands, and specifically for the island of La Palma.”

Regarding La Isla Bonita, Zapata stated that “projects like this only serve to highlight the potential of the island to lead innovation in this field of research,” something that “we thank PLOCAN for, as it provides real solutions for the island.”

The project also promotes permanent infrastructure for the observation of the marine environment, surveillance and monitoring of climate change, as well as the conversion of obsolete municipal facilities for reuse as coastal laboratories and interpretation centers.

The director of PLOCAN thanked the Government of the Canary Islands and the State Secretariat for the Environment of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge for the funding to “advance in the knowledge of the lava deltas and to provide scientific evidence about their evolution for any action that may be taken, always in line with sustainability and biodiversity preservation, which is recovering at a faster rate than expected.” In this line, PLOCAN attracts European projects and funding to the area to develop sustainable activities compatible with conservation, but which also generate employment and economy for the island, such as diving or scientific tourism.

In the framework of the initiative, coordinated from the PLOCAN delegation in La Palma, observation campaigns have already been carried out in the proposed monitoring area within the framework of the project, which essentially covers the lava deltas, as well as campaigns for filming and awareness-raising in schools on the island, among other initiatives. “Recently, the launch of a glider (unmanned autonomous vehicle) for the characterization of essential oceanic variables such as dissolved oxygen, salinity, turbidity, temperature, and chlorophyll-a has taken place,” explained the CEO of PLOCAN, Joaquín Hernández.

For the municipality of Tazacorte, this project is a firm commitment to the creation of scientific infrastructure and the preservation of biodiversity, as well as a driver of the economy, blue employment, the training of the local population, and the attraction of the scientific community. “It is a pride that the Port of Tazacorte currently serves as a base for the scientific facilities of PLOCAN. We want to consolidate the Marine Biodiversity and Blue Economy Center to promote knowledge generation and the attraction of scientific tourism and researchers, while making the port and the municipality a center of technological innovation in the marine-maritime field,” said Manuel González.

In this sense, the project seeks to establish and operate scientific and logistical infrastructure that generates coherent time series of essential oceanic variables in the maritime zone, allowing long-term monitoring of the impact of climate change. “We currently work with the University of La Laguna (ULL), the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), and PLOCAN on the Marine Climate Change Observatory – Punta de Fuencaliente (OMACC), which will serve as both an interpretation center for CO2 outcrops, and as an educational center and marine laboratory,” stressed the representative of the municipal corporation.

The Mayor of Los Llanos de Aridane, Javier Llamas, highlighted the importance of initiatives such as the Delta Project. “We are talking about science, R&D, and a determined commitment to better know and care for our territory,” he pointed out. Likewise, the mayor insisted on the importance of promoting the blue economy and linking it to sustainable development. “A development that combines our natural resources with fundamental activities in our economy such as fishing, agriculture, and tourism,” he added.

Blue economy to diversify the economy and mitigate climate change

According to the director of PLOCAN, the DELTA project symbolizes “a significant advance in the conservation and sustainable use of our marine and maritime resources, demonstrating how innovation can offer effective solutions to global challenges such as climate change and the sustainable management of coastal areas.” In his words, this is just the beginning of what could be exported to other islands or abroad, as well as being an example and an opportunity for technological development for the island and for the Canary Islands.

In his opinion, the DELTA project will not only consolidate scientific infrastructure on the island but also aims to be a catalyst for the economic recovery of the island since its impact goes beyond the purely scientific sphere. For the coordinator of the DELTA project, “the activity generated around the infrastructures that we are creating will directly and indirectly create jobs, attract investments and more projects to the island, in addition to promoting the development of a business ecosystem in the field of the blue economy, promoting, in turn, the sustainable management of the coast and the decarbonization of ports.”

DELTA is a project financed by the State Secretariat for the Environment of the Government of Spain under the direct grant awarded to the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands for the prevention and mitigation of damage to biodiversity and natural heritage caused by volcanic eruptions in 2021.

Skip to content