Intensive olive farming ‘must cease’

International tribunal condemns large-scale water extraction of Río Aguas in Sorbas

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The tribunal’s panel listens to evidence about the Rio Aguas case

By Richard Torné

The authorities must act immediately to stop the extraction of groundwater in the Río Aguas, the International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Germany has ruled.

The non-binding ruling issued last week in Bonn by a panel of nine judges from eight countries concluded that water-intensive olive farming “must cease” in Almería “to enable the ecosystems to recover”.

The sentence comes after environmental activists lodged a complaint to the tribunal over the exploitation of the Sorbas river from intensive olive farming. It is the culmination of a three-year battle to force the regional government to halt illegal water extraction, which they claim is depleting ancient aquifers.

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