PHOTO: Miquel Gomila.
THE FOUNDATION CALCULATES THAT AT LEAST 1% OF PUBLIC BUDGETS ARE NEEDED FOR MARINE CONSERVATION.
Following the parliamentary support that the Balearic Blue Deal has received, Marilles Foundation hopes that the Balearic government will include items specifically earmarked for marine conservation in the 2024 budget, which is currently being drafted.
According to director Aniol Esteban, ‘Over the last few months, the Balearic Blue Deal has united a broad spectrum of Balearic society in a common cry for more and better marine conservation, and Parliament has confirmed its interest in making this possible. Now is the time to move from words to action. The government has the opportunity to translate into investment the commitments that civil, economic, and political society is asking for with regard to the sea: An investment of 1% of the budget is necessary to ensure that the sea and coastline are in an excellent state of conservation. This amount must be in addition to the investment in water infrastructure.’
The Balearic Blue Deal is an initiative promoted by Marilles Foundation and backed by the support of nearly 200 companies and organisations. It calls on political parties to make five commitments to the sea and the Balearic coast in their government and parliamentary action programmes:
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 budgets in marine conservation.*
To make the commitments of the pact effective, public funding is needed. Public services directly related to marine conservation (biodiversity, marine protected areas, fisheries, surveillance, monitoring, control and compliance with existing regulations, etc.) must be provided with more staff and resources. Mechanisms must be put in place to bring together contributions from economic sectors closely linked to the sea. Public spending on marine conservation must be calculated by creating an automatic expenditure monitoring system.
* In addition to spending on water treatment and purification infrastructure.
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