Land Use Study commissioned by the environmental foundation and completed by OBSAM of Menorca will offer detailed mapping of Ibiza, including both natural and artificial cover
Ibiza, 12-11-22 – IbizaPreservation has announced the completion of its Land Use Study, an initiative that sits within Ibiza Sustainability Observatory project and that has been carried out by a team from the Menorca Socio-Environmental Observatory (OBSAM) and is co-funded by the MAVA and A Team foundations, as well as the Consell of Ibiza.
The project has produced, for the very first time, an exhaustive map of the island of Ibiza and its different land covers. It will be presented next Tuesday, 15th November, first at a technical level at the Consell of Ibiza and later to the general public, at 7:30 p.m. at the headquarters of the Institute of Ibizan Studies in Vía Púnica, Ibiza Town.
According to Itziar Arratibel, technical coordinator of IbizaPreservation’s Sustainability Observatory, “This map is an important tool that provides us with comprehensive data about land use in Ibiza. It will be made accessible to institutions and citizens alike and will allow for detailed analysis and calculations to made about the territory using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques.”
As Arratibel explained, the mapping of Ibiza’s structures and land covers, based on data from 2018, makes it possible to characterise the island and compare the landscape with the rest of the Balearic Islands, and thus better understand its current structure, evaluate its management and predict the future evolution of the territory.
The new map’s potential is related to its incredible definition. While other land use studies of greater scope work at a scale of 1:100,000 (CORINE Land Cover for Europe) or 1:25,000 (SIOSE for Spain), the one developed by OBSAM for IbizaPreservation does so to a detail of 1:5,000, an ideal scale for small islands like Ibiza. This map details 106,596 structures of 53 different types, organised according to an international standard classification.
Among the main results, which will be presented on Tuesday, the OBSAM technicians highlight, for example, that combinations of pine and juniper forests are, by far, the most common ground cover in Ibiza. Together they make up more than a third of the territory (40%). In second place are arable crops with or without fruit trees, which account for 23% and, finally, rosemary, heather and thyme, which together occupy 8%. These 3 elements characterise most of the island’s rural landscape, which is dotted furthermore with isolated settlements that make up 1.6% of the cover.
Artificial cover, meanwhile, represents 8.5% of the island’s surface, with a predominance of low-density urban areas (2.8%) for tourist and residential use. On the other hand, the results highlight that some categories that cover little overall area, such as beaches and sandbanks (0.1%) or riverside shrub communities (0.1%), may nonetheless be of great conservation interest, either due to their economic or environmental importance.
“The rugged terrain and the land ownership system (smallholdings) are key to understanding land occupation in Ibiza,” observed David Carreras, director of OBSAM.
“The Land Use Study is an essential technical tool for the development of environmental policies and land management,” added Inma Saranova, director of IbizaPreservation.
For this reason, the map will be unveiled first of all to technical staff at the Consell of Ibiza on Tuesday morning, in order to showcase its full potential. This will be followed by a news conference, attended by Mariano Juan, Minister of Territory for Ibiza, David Carreras and Esteve Palou Pol of OBSAM and Itziar Arratibel of the Sustainability Observatory, scheduled for 11:00 a.m. in the press room of the Consell. Finally, that same afternoon, the map will be presented to the public at the Institute of Ibizan Studies.
“We hope that lots of people will come along to gain awareness of the need to conserve the island and learn first-hand about how to make the most of this tool, which anyone can use completely free of charge,” concluded Saranova.