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The pandemic impacted sustainability in Ibiza in 2020, but did not lead to significant environmental improvements

Home / Noticias / The pandemic impacted sustainability in Ibiza in 2020, but did not lead to significant environmental improvements
Home / Noticias / The pandemic impacted sustainability in Ibiza in 2020, but did not lead to significant environmental improvements
The pandemic impacted sustainability in Ibiza in 2020, but did not lead to significant environmental improvements

The Ibiza Sustainability Observatory makes public

its 2020 report and announces collaboration agreement with the Consell of Ibiza

30/11/2021 IBIZA – IbizaPreservation’s Sustainability Observatory has made available all the data collected in its 2020 Ibiza Sustainability Report to local administrations and social, environmental and business entities, as well as the general public.

Although the Observatory has been communicating highlights relating to many of the report’s 54 indicators throughout the year,  the raw data is now available in its entirety in Excel format via  the website In addition, the Observatory has also published online  its executive report, a summary of all this information, in Spanish, Catalan and English.

The main findings were presented this Tuesday at the Consell of Ibiza by the executive director of IbizaPreservation and coordinator of the Observatory, Inma Saranova, alongside Inés Roig of the Water Alliance of Ibiza and Formentera, which is responsible for the collection and analysis of the data related to the water cycle.

According to Saranova, the data “have been clearly affected by the coronavirus pandemic,”, but nevertheless “do not really represent significant or lasting environmental improvements.”

Light and shade in 2020

Among the effects of the lockdown that were noted in 2020 are the historical lows  in all harmful gases or the collapse  in CO2 emissions, for example. However, the coronavirus crisis did not lead to improvements in other areas, such as energy. In fact, far from increasing generation of  clean energyin 2020, Ibiza in fact registered a setback in production. Last year, renewable energies constituted only 1% of the total energy produced in Ibiza and only 0.18% of final consumption, so the island is still a long way from meeting the target of reaching a renewable energy share of 35% by 2030, as set out by the Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition This is despite the fact that, according to estimates by the Observatory, just by installing solar panels on the roofs of urban buildings, it would be possible to  generate 52% of all the island’s energy needs.

Nor did the quality of Ibiza’s coastal waters improve during the first year of the pandemic. In fact,comparing the data from 2010, 2015 and 2020, you can see a gradual decrease in the quality of Ibiza’s waters. Inés Roig of the Water Alliance explained that, “in 2010 all of the waters analysedwere classified as ‘excellent’, but this quality has steadily declined throughout the past decade.” In 2015, 38 of the places sampled were categorised as having  “excellent” quality water, while in 3 places the water was classified as “good”. Five five year later, in 2020, only at 26 of the sampling points was the water rated as “excellent” (15 less than in 2010). Meanwhile 12 sampling points offered water of “good” quality (4 more than in 2015) and 3 showed water of “sufficient” quality. This analysis reveals that the deterioration in the quality of Ibiza’s coastal waters has been continuous over the last decade and the COVID lockdown did not mean that the situation would necessarily improve by default.

On the other hand, among the improvements registered, one of the most notable is the continued rise in organic farming in Ibiza after 9 years of growth. In 2020 there was an  increase of 5.3% in the number of operators and 2.8%  in cultivated area. The report also reflects  a sharp increase inUtilised Agricultural Area (UAA), which, according to data from the Balearic Government, increased by 53.9%  last year compared to 2019.

“This is an increase that can only be explained by a change in the Govern’s data collection methodology,”  noted Inma Saranova, who also highlighted the fact that, even with encouraging data such as these,“Ibiza continues to be the Balearic island with the lowest total percentage of UAA, only 16% of the total. This is 6 points fewer than in Formentera and very far from the percentages recorded in Menorca (42%) and Mallorca (47%).”

IbizaPresevation  emphasised the need for reliable data on sustainability and compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, an idea supported by the Consell of Ibiza, as reinforced by the Vice President and Minister for Territory, Mariano Juan. Together with Saranova, Juan announced the launch of a multi-year agreement between the Consell and the environmental foundation, in order to ensure the continuity of the work of the Observatory both as regards the annual Sustainability Report and others, such as  as Ibiza Land Use Study or the Four Islands report, in which the Observatory collaborates with the Obsam of Menorca and the local governments of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote to compare indicators over the last two decades.


The Ibiza Sustainability Observatory is a project run by IbizaPreservation, which aims to improve knowledge and understanding of the current state of sustainability on the island. The work focuses on the collection and analysis of data  relating to indicators including biodiversity, waste, water, energy, territory, tourism, etc. By identifying and quantifying the main socio-environmental problems affecting Ibiza, the Observatory aims to help guide priorities and actions for the improved conservation and regeneration of the island from a position of knowledge.