GEN-GOB – the island group of the Grupo Balear de Ornitología – is a not-for-profit NGO based in Ibiza. Its goal is to harmonise human activity with nature conservation in order to achieve a sustainable ecological and social environment. Here we interview Xisco Sobrado, a specialist in the Marine Area.
How long have you worked for the organization?
I’ve been a marine area specialist at GEN-GOB since 2015 and, along with my colleagues Marià Marí, coordinator of GEN-GOB activities, and Jorge Sáez, an expert on fisheries and participative processes, we are developing the project "The sea, a shared responsibility".
What is "The sea, a shared responsibility”?
It’s a marine management project that began in May, 2013, and which was initially supported by the Fundación para la Conservación de Ibiza y de Formentera and the Adessium Foundation. Its goal is to improve the environmental quality of the sea and maritime resources by involving those associated with the sea (fishermen, diving centres, sailing clubs, local government etc) so that we can all work together for good management of maritime and coastal ecosystems.
What have you worked on in recent years?
Over the past two years we have worked with local authorities to create new marine reserves in the Pitiusas. We have facilitated participative processes in the Management Plans in the Red Natura 2000 zones to improve marine management. We have developed environmental pilot projects for Posidonia meadows with the support of the Ibiza and Sant Josep de sa Talaia local authorities to improve management of the area and to reduce environmental pressures on them. We have organised participative conferences and workshops to explain what the Marine Strategies are and how local forces can contribute towards good environmental conditions in the marine environment. We have also organised voluntary environmental campaigns to identify the Posidonia meadows on the Formentera coast. In short, we have worked together with the main agents connected with the marine environment with the aim of improving the environmental situation in the Pitiusas ecosystems.
It worries me that local government is slow to adopt effective measures to combat the problems we face. I believe in the need to work within a network to unite forces and accelerate the process of environmental improvement.
What plans do you have for 2020?
This year we’d like to enjoy the continued support of Marilles in developing “The sea, a shared responsibility” project. One aspect that we’d like to incorporate in the project is the idea of food sovereignty in which the fishing community plays a fundamental role.
A book: Meditations, Marcos Aurelius.
An image: Es Vedrà.
A marine species: Posidonia oceanica.
A person or organization as a role model: WWF.
A beach: La Xanga, in Ibiza.
A phrase that defines you: Of good character and never impatient.
¿Optimist, realist or pessimist? Optimist.