The Spanish Road Association is finalizing the preparation of an environmental map of roads

In collaboration with the Biodiversity Foundation

Focused on the State Network include information on animal species threatened by the abuses and natural areas hardest hit by fires

Madrid, March 6 2003.- Today, environmental concerns have an increasingly prominent importance in different areas of society. This increased commitment in ecological matters has been a remarkable transformation with implications on the scale of values. Predictably, this process of change has finally come to the world of roads, which is reflected in the degree of environmental friendliness that exhibit some of the latest achievements road that run through areas of special ecological value.

In this sense, one of the innovations introduced in this sector of engineering is changing conception of traditional road mapping. And, by reference to the environmentalist approach it seems necessary to review the classical concept of road map that appears as mere links between geographies.

In this scenario an initiative led by the Biodiversity Foundation and the Spanish Road Association (AEC) arises, which, under the acronym MIMAR ( 'Map of Middle-Environmental Interpretation through the road network') and from a view unpublished to date, provide detailed information on the environmental conditions that affect road infrastructure.

Four fronts to explore

With this starting point, the MIMAR project is structured around four distinct blocks. First, it will provide information about areas where more abuses of animals are recorded. Sometimes roads through green areas become barriers to wildlife that inhabits. In this sense, according to the DGT, almost 40% of the animals

They run over in 1999 they were wild, a particularly dramatic figure in that includes numerous endangered species. And it should be added the danger they pose to drivers animals crossing certain roads, while exponentially increasing the risk of traffic accidents occur by accident.

Thus the Map MIMAR also serve to know all the circumstances surrounding the accidents caused by animals. This chapter provides information on the number of registered accidents, the number of casualties caused and its severity, as well as the type of animal involved will be included. In addition, since most of these accidents occur by chance and leaving very little reaction time to drivers, the Map also pick a section as a guide with tips that allow drivers react faster and safer to these circumstances.

Second, the Road Map MIMAR be a map of the Spanish biodiversity. And, given the natural wealth of our country - currently are 500 protected natural areas and occupy 6% of the total Spanish surface - the Spanish Road Association and the Biodiversity Foundation wanted to see in their study a global and comprehensive view of this dense mesh of parks. Thus, in this new map it will be possible to consult all information from varied natural areas protected by extending roads; information coming from the description of the wildlife and vegetation, to the number of roads that run through them, to the extent of landscape and environment of each of the areas analyzed interest.

Another pillar of this project is the preparation of an inventory of the network of green and cattle trails that cross our country. Thus MIMAR provide comprehensive data on this part of the terrestrial communications network, which are not adequately portrayed in traditional maps.

Finally, mothering Project will address the fire, one of the main scourges plaguing our fields, especially in summer, as is clear from the figures 2001, year in which 3.009 fires that resulted in the destruction of more than recorded 64.000 hectares. In this regard, it will be very useful chapter on hazard ratings of green surfaces of our country by roads extending State Network.

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