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Granadilla Port in Tenerife, Spain

The Port proposal remained in the background of public policy till 2009. Its revival led to a series of uprisings unprecedented in the Canary Islands against destruction and commodification of nature.


The idea of building a port in Granadilla dates back from 1975. The project has been modified several times until its current conception. It has been a very controversial project, since it would destroy high-value environmental areas and species, which are also protected by environmental law.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Granadilla Port in Tenerife, Spain
State or province:Tenerife, Canary Islands
Location of conflict:Granadilla
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Transport Services
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Project area:80
Level of Investment:USD 160,000,000 - 340,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:1975
Company names or state enterprises:Sener from Spain
Relevant government actors:Canarian government, Spanish government, Granadilla de Abona Town Council, Port Authority, Environmental Observatory of Granadilla
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:No Puerto de Granadina. Citizen Platfom against the Granadilla Industrial Port. Formed by:, Asociación Cultural I.S.L.A., Asociación Tinerfeña de Amigos de la Naturaleza (A.T.A.N.), Asociación de Vecinos de El Médano, Ben Magec - Ecologistas en Acción, Cofradía de Pescadores de Tajao (Arico), Plataforma Ciudadana del Sur, Sociedad Española de Ornitología (Seo/BirdLife), Tagoror Ecologista Alternativo (T.E.A.), Asociación Alisios (Medio ambiente y desarrollo sostenible), Asociación Cultural Sureste, Colectivo Frente Blanquiazul, C.C.O.O. Canarias, Enseñantes Asamblearios de Canarias (EAC), Federación Canaria de Montañismo, Federación Tinerfeña de Montañismo, Foro ciudadano contra la incineración de residuos, Greenpeace, Intersindical sector enseñanza ULL, Plataforma universitaria contra el P.I.G., WWF/ADENA, SEO/Birdlife
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Social movements
Trade unions
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
National NGOs
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Gathering signatures to make a Law proposal in the parliament
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
New legislation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Development of alternatives:Not to build a new port, but to better use the main one of the island in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. If needed, to expand that port.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The port finally started being constructed and construction works have restarted in 2009. The Court statements came too late to stop the work. The port continues to remain (less) contested, unfinished and underused to date. No ships have docked since its inauguration in April 2018 [2], and the functions of the port are limited to the reparation of oil platforms and the transportation of wind generators that will be installed in the area in future. However, the contestation 1) put the fostering groups in a corner, forced the reduction of the dimensions of the port, 2) delayed the realization of construction by almost a decade [3]; and 3) it still represents a vivid memory and encourage environmental movements to stop other transport and tourism infrastructures (see for instance the case of Hotel La Tejita Resort in the EJAtlas).
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

La Ley 27/1992, de 24 de noviembre, de Puertos del Estado y de la Marina Mercante:
[click to view]

Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora :
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[3] Armas-Díaz, A.; Sabaté-Bel, F. (2020). The struggles on the port of Granadilla: Defending the right to nature. Territory, politics, governance. DOI: 10.1080/21622671.2020.1773918
[click to view]

Machado, A. (2010). Verificación de la exactitud y corrección de la evaluación de impacto ambiental del puerto de Granadilla, Tenerife.–Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Observatorio Ambiental Granadilla, OAG_PVA-Gr1/2010, 107páginas.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Web Observatorio ambiental Granadilla:
[click to view]

Web No puerto Granadilla (lots of information and documents):
[click to view]

Web Ecologistas en Acción Canarias:
[click to view]

[2] Autoridad Portuaria (2019). Estadísticas de los puertos.
[click to view]

[5] Newspaper El Día (2020). El puerto de Granadilla, sin atraques disponibles para atender las peticiones, May 17.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Youtube clip. Carnaval against the Port:
[click to view]

Youtube clip. El puerto de Granadilla y la burbuja de las infraestructuras:
[click to view]

[6], 23 junio 2020. El puerto de Granadilla es "inútil e innecesario", según investigadores de las universidades de Leipzig y La Laguna.
[click to view]

Other comments:"El puerto de Granadilla (Tenerife) se ha demostrado que es una instalación "inútil e innecesaria", según investigadores de las universidades de Leipzig y La Laguna que han analizado los efectos de la construcción de esa infraestructura.

Según se indica en un comunicado de la Universidad de La Laguna, los investigadores dicen que esa obra representa "un buen ejemplo de las políticas basadas en el desmedido crecimiento inmobiliario y las políticas de promoción de macro infraestructuras que caracterizaron al Estado español a partir de la década de los noventa". [6]
Meta information
Contributor:Amaranta Herrero. Actualización del caso en 2020 por Alejandro Armas-Díaz
Last update11/07/2020
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