The Environment in the Spanish Navy

Knowledge, Awareness and Environmental Disclosure

Environmental protection is a social demand and the Spanish Navy is fully committed and concerned with this endeavor. For some years now, many initiatives have been taken to avoid polluting the sea, the air and the soil, and raise awareness among members of the Armed Forces on the importance to save energy, participate in forest fire prevention initiatives and assist civilian administrations when so required.

The Spanish Navy has outlined its environmental policy in the SPANISH NAVY GUIDELINES enacted by the Chief of Staff in September 2007: "The Spanish Navy will continue fostering environmental measures in our ships and facilities trying to minimize undesirable impacts on marine fauna and the environment during the naval activities".

Marín's Naval school
Marín's Naval school

But this environmental policy is not something new. Maritime authorities from many nations, along with specialized scientists, were the first ones to hit the nail on the head by calling the attention to the need of regulating dumping practices at sea and designing new waste treatment and processing systems. In order to avoid discharges into the sea, the International Maritime Organization enacted the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) ratified by the Spanish Government in 1984. Although warships are exempt from the provisions of MARPOL, Spanish Navy warships abide by adequate environmental regulations in line with that Agreement.

On the other hand, the Spanish Navy is fully aware of the importance of the rich biodiversity of Spanish waters and has signed treaties with other State Departments in order to set the limits where the use of anti-submarine sonars may pose a threat to marine mammals. In this respect, the Spanish Navy has issued precise instructions to its naval units as regards areas of operation, previous surveillance, and the control of intensity and frequency of sonar emissions.

Cetacean
Cetacean

Ashore, the Spanish Navy policy is framed within the environmental management system (SGA in its Spanish initials) in agreement with the ISO 14001 model. As part of a pilot program organized among NATO nations, a Navy facility was the first one to obtain the SGA certification in 1997, not only in Spain, but in the whole of Europe. Since then, the Sierra del Retín range upholds the certificate which is updated every year.

Field of Training of the Sierra " El Retín "
Field of Training of the Sierra " El Retín "

To develop these plans, the Spanish Navy has its own resources and shows its commitment and active participation being at the forefront of environmental measures, doing its best to achieve the highest possible standards in the years to come.

Ships of the Spanish Navy
Ships of the Spanish Navy
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Marín's Naval school
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Cetacean
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Field of Training of the Sierra " El Retín "
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Ships of the Spanish Navy
    
        

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