Save the Med and Marilles present a project designed to promote local leadership in the conservation of the Sa Dragonera marine reserve.
Key points of the project:
- Raise awareness of the Sa Dragonera marine reserve.
- Focus leadership on the local community.
- Received €75,000 from the Fondo para la Protección de Áreas Marinas Protegidas (Protected Marine Areas fund - AMP).
- Jointly establish activities with schools, local businesses and fisheries.
- Activities open to the public.
- 12-month pilot project.
Over the space of a year Save the Med will set in motion a new project with the aim of developing local community leadership in the conservation of the Parque Natural de Sa Dragonera marine reserve. Save the Med will organise meetings with all relevant sectors inSant Elm, Port Andratx, S’Arraco and Andratx with the aim of communicating in detail the reserve’s precise situation and the economic, social and environmental benefits that accrue from the reserve being well maintained.
The organisation will help to write a guide to what needs to be done and will try to involve everyone in disseminating information and organising activities related to the conservation of Sa Dragonera and its marine environment. The project seeks to develop the connection between residents and the reserve and to strengthen these links as a means of protecting the reserve.
Valérie Pimentel, the project’s coordinator, said: “We invite local schools, companies, fishermen, diving centres, artists, creators and people of all ages who love the ocean to join in this campaign in order to share its values, ideas and vision so that we can all work together to improve the state of the Sa Dragonera marine reserve.”
Aniol Esteban, director of Marilles, commented: “We’re delighted to work with Save the Med on this innovative project. It’s an organisation with which we have much in common and we hope to continue to work together in coming years.Sa Dragonera is a fantastic place and could be even more so – that’s the feeling we hope to generate with this project, a project through which we hope to learn a lot that we can extend and replicate in other Balearic marine reserves.”
The project is one of the winners of the first Fund for improving Protected Marine Areas coordinated by the Marilles Foundation. The fund finances projects designed to improve the Balearic AMPs and is open to other donors.
The main objective of the AMPs is to protect and improve the marine and coastal habitats where much could be improved. Poor levels of control and monitoring and the insufficient follow-up and management of AMPs stems from a lack of financial resources. But as well as a lack of funds there is a lack of knowledge of and connection between citizens and the reserves.
The same is happening with Sa Dragonera. Since it was designated a Natural Park 1995 and named AMP Freu de Sa Dragonera in Octuber 2016, we have begun to see improvements in terms of the increased population of fish of commercial interest but it’s a long way off its potential and from regenerating the marine ecosystems that have been destroyed by inappropriate fishing practices.
The plan is for the Sa Dragonera project to continue for more than a year if funding permits.
We hope that our efforts will enable us to conserve and protect this area that is as fragile as it amazing.