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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment


The Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs makes proposals and develops the implementation of the governmental policy in the fighting against the climate change, sustainable rural development, and the protection of natural heritage, biodiversity, sea matters, and water, agricultural, cattle raising, forest, fishing and alimentary resources. Its strategic aim is the fighting against the climate change and the encouragement of a model of sustainable development in its double dimension: on the one hand the territory and biodiversity protection and, on the other, the agricultural, cattle raising, forest and fishing productive factors defence, from an integrating perspective.


Royal Decree 1130/2008, of 4th July, by which the basic organic structure of the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs is developed. It takes on the competences of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food and the Ministry of Environment, this last created in 1996.

Responsibility Areas

Climate Change: development of the climate change policy in accordance with the common (EC) and international policy; establishment of adaptation and mitigation measures; emissions commerce and flexibility mechanisms; carbon sinks; coordination of plans and programmes related with climate change.

Environmental Quality: development of the policy for the prevention of pollution, and environmental control, quality and assessment; coordination of plans and programmes related with waste, polluted soils, pollution (air) and environmental impact; environmental impact assessment; development of environmental indicators systems; risk evaluation for chemical products; development of mechanisms for the integration of the environmental aspects in the productive sectors.

Natural Environment and Forest Policy: conservation and management of the Natura 2000 network and the Protected Natural Spaces-PNS (ENP, in Spanish), as well as their integration in the sustainable rural development; development of strategies, plans and programmes for the stimulation of the conservation and restoration of natural heritage and biodiversity; conservation of genetic resources, flora, fauna, habitat, landscapes, ecosystems and natural areas, particularly the most delicate and the degraded ones; participation in the development of programmes for the forest protection, defence against the forest fires and forest health; the hydrological-forest restoration; carrying out programmes against desertification; development of the Spanish Inventory of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity.

Sustainable Rural Environment: development of the Agri-environmental measures, forestation of agrarian lands, compensation of the agrarian incomes in unfavourable areas, strengthening of the participation of women and young people in rural development; establishment of new technologies and revamping of agrarian exploitations; encouragement of renewable energies (bio-mass and bio-fuel) in agriculture, as well as saving and energy efficiency in this sector. These competences are developed by the Directorate-General for the Sustainable Development of Rural Environment.

Water resources Management: National Hydrological Plan implementation, in all its aspects; checking of the Hydrological Plans of the Basin Organizations, the information about water quality, execution of researches, projects and operation and conservation works for the Public Waters Domains and their infrastructures; continental waters quality vigilance, and also vigilance of activities susceptible of cause pollution or degradation of the public waters domains; establishment of measures for the re-use of purified water and water saving; control of the groundwater good condition; irrigation plans modernization and emergency works in case of catastrophic damages.

Marine Environment: demarcation and management (occupation, use, guardianship and Coast Guard) of the Terrestrial-Maritime Public Domain; Coast Demarcations and Coast Provincial Services management; protection and conservation of beaches, coastal sand dune systems and littoral wetlands; coordination of the actions that may contribute to the coast and sea sustainability with other public administrations; checking and inspection of the defence works; development of strategies for the biological diversity and genetic resources conservation in the marine ecosystems and for marine species included in the National Catalogue of Threatened Species; preparation of preliminary reports for the environmental impact declaration in the marine environment; strengthening and supervision of researches about fighting pollution systems; assessment of damages produced by maritime and coastal pollution coming from dumping contaminant substances, as well as development of sectorial plans for coastal protection.



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