The Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Morán, who has presented the report, highlighted his contribution to the literacy of society in order to foster his knowledge and participation in environmental decision making. "The ultimate goal is the goal that gives name to this ministry: to achieve the Ecological Transition and to improve the environmental indicators in this annual check." In addition, the report serves as a tool to identify areas that require improvement plans and actions.
The PAE, which started data collection last spring, is based on a cross-sectional evaluation of seventy indicators that provide a comprehensive approach to the country's environmental situation. It includes a trend analysis and details the information by themes – air and climate, nature, socioeconomic sectors and sustainability.
The report also analyzes the different data by autonomous communities and puts them in the context of the European Union.
According to the PAE 2018, the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds other than methane (NMVOC) and sulfur oxides (SOx) are below the emission ceiling set for Spain since 2010.
In relation to protected areas, the Spanish protected marine surface has increased by four percentage points compared to 2017, representing 12% of the total. In addition, Spain reached 16,613,036.7 protected land hectares in 2018, representing 32.8% of the total area of our country. This implies a slight increase of 0.02%, being Spain one of the only countries in the European Union where it has increased.
The 2018 data confirm a growth trend in Spanish forests during the last 15 years. It also highlights the improvement of tree health: 77.3% of the studied specimens presented a healthy appearance, higher than the 72.2% recorded in 2017.
Regarding forest fires, 2018 has been a positive year with an 86% reduction in the affected forest area compared to the previous year. It has also been the year with fewer fires recorded since 1983, which have decreased by 45%.
Ministry for Ecological TransitionIn the marine and coastal environment, the quality of bathing water improves: in 2018 there has been an increase of 1.75% of the sampling points that have an "excellent" quality, following the positive trend observed since 2014.
On the other hand, the presence of plastics in marine litter sampled between 2013 and 2018 stands out: 71.5% of the analyzed wastes corresponded to this material, while 11.2% were paper and cardboard and 6, 6% corresponded to hygienic-sanitary waste. However, this figure also reflects the improvement of marine litter measurement systems, which not only analyze sandboxes, but also seabed. However, they have already been approved Marine Strategies With Programs of Measures that include actions to improve the problem of this type of waste.
With respect to nitrate contamination in groundwater, the data shows that in nine demarcations the number of stations with average values above 50 mg / l has decreased, while in seven demarcations this value has increased .
Recycling rates and recovery of packaging waste remain above the planned objectives. In 2017, the incineration with energy recovery represented 13% of the destination of the waste, approaching the value of 15% foreseen in the State Plan for Waste Management. Waste generation per capita in Spain decreased 0.22% in 2017.
It also increases the generation of electricity from renewable sources, with an increase of 18.6% compared to 2017, amounting to 100,314 GWh, according to data from Red Eléctrica de España.
About the Environmental Profile of Spain (PAE)
Ministry for Ecological TransitionThis study is carried out annually, complying with the obligation established in the Aarhus Convention, with the objective of sharing environmental information to promote the involvement and participation of society and its contribution in decision-making.
With a global approach, each indicator is described with its link to the achievement of the priority objectives of the VII EU Environmental Action Program and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
The PAE is available, in Spanish and English, in the website of the Ministry for Ecological Transition. In addition, it can be accessed through an application available for smartphone and tablet, adapted to Android and iOS systems.