THE DELOS INITIATIVE

 

 

Lluc and Serra de Tramuntana, Mallorca - Spain

 

 

LLuc is an ancient monastery in the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, a beautiful area with the lowest population density of the Balearic Islands, surrounded by the highest mountains in Mallorca (up to 1445 m) and the most spectacular worked landscapes, featuring impressive limestone terrace systems. It has 65 endemic vegetal species, such as the ferreret (Alytes muletensis), a good population of black vulture (Aegypius monachus) and Elenor falcon (Falco eleonare), and 12 species of  terrestrial mammals plus 15 species of bats, and 103 nesting bird species.

 

Lluc is the spiritual centre of Mallorca, the monastery being devoted to the Lluc's Virgin and run by a community of Benedict monks. The northern face of the Sierra has many caves that were used by a number of hermits since medieval times, among them Ramon Llull. A Congregation of hermits, which was founded here in the 17th century, and flourished in the island for over three centuries, is still alive in the hermit of the Santa Trinitat (Holy Trinity). The Lluc area alone is receiving over 1 million visitors each year (local pilgrims, resident visitors and foreign tourists), and has several visitor facilities (interpretation centre, educational study centre, several picnic areas, a tree nursery, etc.) run by the Balearic Ministry of the Environment.

Most of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range is protected from urban development as Area of  Special Natural Interest under the Balearic Region Natural Sites Act (1991), but this protection does not imply the existence of a management team, nor does it guarantee a proper management, as 90% of the sierra is in private hands. For that reason, there has been a long debate on further protection as a Natural Park, under national law on protected areas. The debate has been led by the Grup Balear d'Ornitologa i Defensa de la Naturalesa, the main environmental local NGO. The management plan of this Natural Protected Area was passed by a Decree of the Regional Government of the Balearic Islands on the 17th of March 2007.