Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.
A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on Tenerife
By summer next year, if everything goes to plan, Tenerife could have its first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Next March a proposal will be sent to Madrid to award the Anaga Mountains this prestigious title. From there, as long as it’s given the green light, the application is forwarded to UNESCO HQ in Paris and sometime between April and May 2011 a decision should be reached. Opposition for the proposal comes from a surprising source, the people who actually live in the Anaga area. Some residents claim that a lot of promises were made to them about how they would be affected before it was made a rural park, many of which were allegedly broken. An example of why they feel their rights are being overlooked in favour of the environment is the recent closure of the pharmacy in Almáciga. Now the nearest pharmacy for anyone living in the Taganana area is at San Andrés over on the opposite coast.
Residents have concerns a UNESCO title would result in a further erosion of their rights. The problem clearly isn’t about having a UNESCO title, which is something that residents should be able to be proud of, as is so often the case it is more about political mishandling.
Turning up the Heat in the Canary Islands
For anyone who believes that Tenerife has seen more rain and less heat in the last couple of years the assessment of climactic changes on the Canary Islands by scientists at the Izaña Observatory who have been monitoring weather patterns since 1984 might come as a surprise.
In the last forty years temperatures have risen by two degrees. There have been forty one heatwaves between 1947 and 2007 when temperatures touched 40C; twelve of these occurred between 2002 and 2007. Recently there have been many more nights when temperatures haven’t dropped below 20C. There’s also been a decrease in rainfall with the eastern islands experiencing the greatest reduction. The pattern of rainfall has changed so that there is more chance of short torrential downpours as experienced at the beginning of this year. It might all sound great for anyone seeking sun and hot weather, but the cost could be the possibility of desertification and the occasional tropical storm like Delta a few years ago.
Getting rid of Graffiti”¦with Graffiti
La Laguna council have taken an “˜off the wall’ approach to getting rid of unsightly graffiti from the walls of the municipal market. They’ve tasked talented local graffiti artists with covering up the “˜José ama a Raquel’ type of graffiti with more artistic looking wall paintings depicting the world of wine. It should make for a much more aesthetically pleasing backdrop when tucking into a bag of roasted chestnuts in Plaza del Cristo this month.
Theme for Carnaval 2011 in Puerto de la Cruz
The theme for next year’s carnaval in Puerto de la Cruz (27 Feb to 13 March) will be a tribute to tourism. It’ll be interesting to see how this is interpreted ““ it means for the street parties I’m either going to have to don a bikini (it is carnaval after all) or more comfortably and less disturbingly for onlookers, just dress like the sensibly attired visitors who stand at the fringes of the street parties watching furry animals, zombies, vampires, sexy nuns and nurses et al salsa the night away.
Did the Earth Move for You?
Actually no it didn’t despite an earthquake which reached 3.1 on the Richter scale in the sea north of the Canarian Archipelago last week. The tremor occurred between Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, but as it happened 59 kilometres below sea level, no-one actually felt it.
And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to Tenerife’s Ministry of Education “¦again.
A few weeks ago parents were protesting in Alcalá about a lack of teachers at the local primary school, but the crisis in education and lack of teacher cover on Tenerife continues to worsen. More than 250 students at the Juan GarcÃa Pérez primary school in San Isidro have been denied a proper education for weeks due to the continued absence of three teachers. A lack of substitute teachers has resulted in the children not receiving language and maths mentoring amongst other classes. The situation has compelled teachers at the school to send a letter to the authorities demanding action. Once again education cuts and mismanagement have been held responsible for the problems. With the apparent chaos in education in the archipelago it begins to make you wonder if some politicians are quite happy to see the emergence of an uneducated population.