Association for the Natural Resources Defense Cantabria (ARCA) was founded in March 1984 and has since then acting in defense of the environment with some very clear objectives:
- Raising awareness and increasing public awareness, disseminating and transmitting the principles and environmentalist ideas.
- Combat decidedly any action that involves the destruction and degradation territory, from an independent and with appropriate technical and scientific advice.
During all these years, ARCA has developed numerous campaigns (Capercaillie, Santoña Marshes, Oyambre, Picos de Europe, the Coastal Plan...), conferences and roundtables, publications, protest, environmental education projects (the Forest Forest Project in 2002 won the Prix Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, etc.). But the widespread recognition and prestige came from the hand of its innovative strategy to make urban planning at the core of its environmental action.
The ARCA has numerous successes in the courts of justice against municipal urban planning, regional standards for planning or specific development projects that are a true reflection of the rigor demonstrated in the actions and approaches advocated by the association.
These circumstances, coupled with their independence and permanent provision of alternatives, has enabled ARCA as one of the most prestigious environmental associations from around the Spanish State, with a significant number of partners divided by all the districts of the region and beyond. Furthermore ARCA has become an indispensable interlocutor for political parties, unions and all social organizations in Cantabria.
Special mention must be made to mobilize the capacity of ARCA, with dozens of activists who have made grave personal sacrifices at times, highlighting the entry into prison after 13 people locked into the machines, which destroyed an oak to build an illegal urbanization on the beach of La Arena (1992).
In 2000, ARCA participated in the founding of the Federation of Associations for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage in Acanto Cantabria.