Malaga’s ambitious reforestation plan with 3 million trees

by Deborah Cater
montes de malaga, the original reforestation plan © Else Beekman

With the planting of 3 million trees, the municipality of Malaga wants to help reduce both pollution in the city and flooding over the next 30 years. The green ring should appear on the north and east sides of the city.

Announced on Monday, the plan created by the Municipal Environmental Observatory and the municipality of the southern Spanish city is part of the larger ‘Alicia, Plan del Clima de Málaga 2050’. It covers an area of ​​20.24 square kilometers of non-arable land north of the eastern bypass. Implemented in phases over three decades, the plan involves a budget of €16million.

Indigenous planting with a large capacity to absorb carbon dioxide is the primary consideration. At the same time, the planting helps to prevent flooding. The plan includes six connections between the coast and the Montes de Málaga, the nature reserve north of the city. One of these will allow residents and visitors of the city to reach the green zone directly. For example, there will be connections from both the famous bathhouse Baños del Carmen and from the La Malagueta district.

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Previous large-scale reforestation in Malaga

It is not the municipality’s first important reforestation project. After major floods resulting in deaths at the beginning of the last century, authorities decided to replant the area behind the city. Felled during the previous centuries in favour of a thriving local wine industry, the destruction lasted until the Filoxera (grape louse) epidemic in 1880 threw a spanner in the works.

In 1927, the authorities approved a reforestation plan to combat major floods. This involved the planting of a total of 18,000 hectares with cork oaks, sting oaks and various pine species. In addition, the construction of the El Agujero reservoir aimed to collect excess water. The Montes de Malaga nature reserve is the result of this earlier reforestation plan.

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