Asociación pola defensa da ría

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The Asociación Pola Defensa da Ría (Association in Defence of the Ria) of Pontevedra, known as APDR, is a Galician local environmental non-governmental organisation created in 1987 to address the environmental degradation of Pontevedra's ria area. It has over 500 registered members and it holds minimal support in the local community.

Through its work, the APDR defends a model of sustainable development based in the rational use of sea and forest resources, and a tourism model not based in the idea of mass tourism. The organisation is open to any citizen interested in the rehabilitation of the ria and its adjacent areas. Most of its work is focused in the fight against the main industries,[1] such as the timbering company TAFISA (already relocated) and the pulp mill/paper mill and electrochemical complex ENCE-ELNOSA.


The APDR currently has three main active campaigns:

In addition to the mentioned campaigns, the APDR also entertains parallel campaigns related to the environment and health issues, such as the relation between mobile phone radiation and health, protection and rational development of the local seafood industry, etc.


The APDR works in collaboration with a number of other environmental networks that aim to protect the environment, the Galician rivers Gafos, Lérez and Verdugo, and with particular citizens initiatives. The APDR, in association with some of these other groups and/or individuals, have submitted a series of environmental and urbanism proposals to the local government of Pontevedra.

From 1999, the APDR is member of the Galician Environmental Federation (Federación Ecoloxista Galega - FEG), and from 2002 of the civic platform Nunca Máis.

Accomplished goals[edit]

The APDR initially managed to open investigations on the fulfilment of environmental regulations by ENCE.[2] However, lack of support from the administration at that time reduced the effect of the APDR's early campaigns. It was only from 1999, with the arrival of a new governing team to Pontevedra's City Council, when APDR began to have institutional support and therefore was able to achieve specific goals.

The APDR critically backed the local government of Pontevedra, forming an environmental lobby, that eventually forced the relocation of the timbering company TAFISA. In the 2001-2002 period, the APDR also gained the support of the Galician government on the grounds of health and environmental concerts to speed up the process.[3][4]

The local government of Pontevedra, in association with the Galician government and APDR, negotiated the eventual closure of the ENCE-ELNOSA complex. However, the agreed date of year 2018 was considered as "unacceptable" by the APDR, which is now trying to force an earlier closure of the company.


In 2002 the APDR received the Cidade de Pontevedra prize, awarded by the Pontevedra City Council. In 2005 it received the Vidal Bolaño prize, awarded by the cultural organisation Redes Escarlata.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Retired doctor comments on the possible effects of contamination in the ria Archived September 24, 2008, at, from newspaper A Nosa Terra (20 September 2008)
  2. ^ Press note, commenting on ENCE-ELNOSA officials being investigated and prosecuted (October 1994)
  3. ^ Article from La Voz de Galicia Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine., on how TAFISA was being investigated by justice on possible irregularities and environmental law breaches (1 February 2002)
  4. ^ Article from[permanent dead link], on how the Galician government urges TAFISA to close its Pontevedra factory and relocate (9 February 2002)

External links[edit]


  • Centro de Estudios y Ordenación del Territorio y Medio Ambiente [ed.] (1982): Estudio de la contaminación de la Ría de Pontevedra: Programa Escorp (three volumes). Deputación Provincial, Pontevedra
  • Cobelo-Garcia, A. and Prego R. (2003): "Land inputs, behaviour and contamination levels of copper in a ria estuary (NW Spain)", in Marine environmental research, vol. 56, no. 3, p. 403-422. Elsevier, Oxford, ISSN 0141-1136
  • Combarro Combarro, M. P. (1981): Indicadores bacteriológicos de contaminación fecal en la ría de Pontevedra. Memoria de Licenciatura, Faculdade de Bioloxía-Departamento de Microbioloxía e Parasitoloxía, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
  • López Rodríguez, M. (1994): Influencia de vertidos industriales en la variabilidad cualitativa y cuantitativa de la flora y vegetación bentónica de la ría de Pontevedra. Servicio de Publicacións e Intercambio Científico, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
  • Masa Vázquez, A. (2001): "A Xustiza acusa a Celulosas de 'delito ecolóxico' ", in Inzar razóns, no.24, p. 16-19
  • Masa Vázquez, A. (2006): "Defendemos o fin da actividade de Ence na Ría de Pontevedra", in Cerna. Revista galega de ecoloxía e medio ambiente, no. 48, p. 30-33
  • Masa Vázquez, A. (2008): "Un paso máis cara á consolidación do complexo na Ría de Pontevedra: autorizacións ambientais integradas a ENCE-ELNOSA", in Inzar razóns, no. 37, p. 4-10
  • Patiño Romarís, C. (1997): "Competencia entre agricultura y turismo en la margen norte de la Ría de Pontevedra", in Dinámica litoral-interior: actas XV Congreso de Geógrafos Españoles, p. 493-502. Depto. de Xeografía, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
  • Prego Reboredo, R. et al. (2003): "Chemical speciation of dissolved lead in polluted environments; a case of study: the Pontevedra Ria (NW Spain)", in Ciencias Marinas, vol. 29, no. 4, p. 377-388
  • Ramírez Fernández, C. (1999): "Un Purgatorio en Pontevedra", in Tempos novos, no. 25, p. 19-27
  • Rodríguez Rey, L. (1984): Dinámica de poblaciones de "Spiochaetopterus costarum" (Claparede, 1868) en la ría de Pontevedra, su importancia como indicador de contaminación. Memoria de Licenciatura, Faculdade de Bioloxía-Departamento de Zooloxía, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela