PHOTO: Window to the sea, Wojciech Dopierala
Hotel chains, environmental organisations, and dozens of companies and representatives of the tourism, nautical, fishing, real estate, and financial sectors have joined forces to ask all political parties to ensure that marine conservation has a prominent role in the future government plan and in Parliament.
150 companies and entities have already joined the Balearic Blue Deal, an initiative promoted by Marilles Foundation that asks political parties to make f commitments to the sea and the Balearic coast in their government programmes and parliamentary actions:
1. Create a network of marine sanctuaries that will cover 10% of the Balearic Sea.
2. Implement plans for the conservation and recovery of vulnerable habitats and species.
3. Guarantee sustainable fishing and put an end to poaching and fraudulent trade.
4. Improve the quality of our coastal waters.
5. Invest a minimum of 1% of the public budget in marine conservation.
Today, the first list of signatories has been made public. Camper, Melià, Trasmapi, CaixaBank, Iberostar, GrupRiu, Asociación de Constructores de Baleares, PortPortals, Marina Ibiza, Fundació Sa Nostra, PIMEM, Federació Hotelera de Mallorca, WWF, and the GOB of all the islands together with other companies and environmental and social entities are a sample of the wide support that the five Balearic Blue Deal proposals are receiving.
As director of Marilles, Aniol Esteban stated: ‘The diversity of actors that have supported the Balearic Blue Deal sends a very clear message to the future governments of our islands: We want more action to protect the sea and the Balearic coast and we want a firm commitment with concrete measures.’ He added: ‘Marine conservation is the responsibility of all; it does not understand partisanship. A sea and a coast in an excellent state of conservation is the best insurance we can buy to cope with the impacts of climate change, ensure the economic prosperity of our islands, and improve the welfare of its citizens. It is for the future of the Balearic Islands.’
The Balearic Blue Deal was presented last March in the Parliament of the Balearic Islands in an event to which all political parties with parliamentary representation were invited. Since then, the initiative has received a growing number of signatories from all areas of Balearic society that continues to increase every day.
A pact to unite all sectors
The Balearic Sea is a source of benefit, enjoyment, leisure, and wellbeing. But this natural marine capital is under strong pressure and we must act to protect it. The future of such important industries for the Balearic Islands as tourism, sailing, and fishing and the jobs that depend on them is closely linked to a sea and a coast in an excellent state of conservation.
‘Tourism, boating, and fishing, both professional and recreational, can play a key role in improving the conservation status of the sea and the Balearic coast. Everyone agrees that the experience at sea, whether for sailors, tourists, fishers, or Balearic citizens is more satisfying in a sea full of life. The Balearic Blue Deal is for all of them. We already have the support of many representatives of these sectors and we hope to add new and important adhesions in the coming days’, said Esteban.
Necessary and realistic commitments
We are about to begin a new legislature. A period of initiating new projects is opening. It is an opportune moment to put the sea at the centre of the political agenda. ‘We cannot only use the sea to enjoy and extract, we have to position ourselves and take care of it. The Balearic Blue Deal proposes realistic, necessary, achievable, legal commitments based on previous regional, state, and international agreements. In fact, in many cases it is only a matter of applying the law and resourcing it. ‘It is very encouraging to see that so many companies and sectors that for years had expressed their concern for marine conservation but had not dared to say anything in public are now making their support visible by joining voices in a common clamour asking future governments and opposition parties to protect one of our greatest treasures’, explained Esteban.