On Tuesday 5th of April at 3 PM the Spanish Congress in Madrid decide to grant legal personality to the Mar Menor, a lagoon near Murcia in southern Spain. It is the first time in Europe that an ecosystem has been granted enforceable rights.
In 2016, due to nitrate pollution 85% of the seagrass and many fish in the Mar Menor died, leading to an ecological and economic crisis affecting tourism and housing prices around the lagoon. This upcoming historic moment in parliament is the result of a petition initiated by a group of concerned citizens in Murcia. Within nine months, the petition for a new law to protect the lagoon was signed by more than 500.000 people.
Teresa Vicente Giménez (professor Philosophy of Law, Universidad de Murcia), one of the initiators of the ILP to grant legal personality to the Mar Menor lagoon.