Marine reserves, sea water quality and a reduction in the use of plastics, fundamental axes of the Forum

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Marine reserves, sea water quality and a reduction in the use of plastics, fundamental axes of the Forum

Marine reserves, sea water quality and a reduction in the use of plastics, fundamental axes of the Forum

Environmental experts meet in Ibiza to contribute ideas and proposals

Mike Fay, Von Hernández, Pierre-Yves Cousteau, Javier Goyeneche and other experts will meet in Ibiza to contribute ideas and proposals
An ideas laboratory where all sectors – public, private and civil – are represented with a shared concern for the conservation of our marine environment

On 26 and 27 September at the Cultural Centre of Jesús, the first edition of the Marine Forum of Ibiza and Formentera begins its journey. The event aims to be an annual reference for debate and the construction of proposals, where Ibiza and Formentera’s marine issues are shared, with contributions from international, national and local experts. The Forum is open to all audiences, and new visions, experiences and opportunities are offered. Today, Sandra Benbeniste, director of the Ibiza Preservation Foundation; Marc Rahola, CEO of OD Group; Marcos Marí, CEO of Trasmapi; Manu San Felix, marine biologist and explorer; Cres Huerta, director of the Pacha Foundation, members of the Forum’s promoter group, explained the elements and content of the first edition. Part of this group is also the Marilles Foundation, although director Aniol Esteban was unable to attend the presentation.

“We want it to be a platform where all sectors – public, private, civil – are represented, with concern for the conservation of the marine environment. An ideas laboratory from which conservation projects of Ibiza and Formentera’s marine environment are generated and promoted,” said Sandra Benbeniste, director of the Ibiza Preservation Foundation.

Three axes of study in 2019

The Marine Forum is not only a space to listen, but a place where high-level debate takes place and solutions are proposed to reverse the serious situation of the marine environment, establishing 2030 as a temporary recovery framework.

The three fundamental axes that support this first edition are: to raise the ambition of marine protected areas in Ibiza and Formentera; contribute to the effective implementation of the islands’ Waste Law to be applied in 2020-21; and contribute to a reduction in discharges to the sea to improve the quality of our marine waters.

“All of us who collaborate in the Forum are very clear that in Ibiza and Formentera we all live from this wonderful sea. Therefore, it is everyone’s job to take care of it. If Ibiza has been a pioneer in many issues, let’s demonstrate that we are the first to adopt the necessary measures to preserve it and be an example in the Balearic Islands,” said Marcos Marí, CEO of Trasmapi.

The speakers have been selected both for their professional and personal experiences to offer an inspiring point of view, explain good practices, and make accurate and objective diagnoses with the fundamental objective to improve our marine environment.

The expert speakers are: Von Hernández, Goldman Prize 2003, a leading environmental activist from the Philippines currently dedicated to denouncing the pollution of the seas and oceans; Mike Fay, a National Geographic naturalist and explorer currently working on getting Gabon to protect its ocean as it did 15 years ago for its forests; Javier Goyeneche, founder of ECOALF, a sustainable fashion brand made from recycled products. Through the ECOALF Foundation, specifically the Upcycling the Oceans project, it cleans the Mediterranean of garbage with the help of fishermen; Pierre-Yves Cousteau, scientist and environmentalist, environmental advisor to different governments, currently promoting marine protected areas and the “Hermes” project to measure the oceans; Miquel Sunyer, a long-distance swimmer, in open water and without neoprene, considers himself an ocean explorer, lover of nature and ideologist who co-created Vies Braves.

In addition, other experts include the marine biologist and disseminator Manu San Felix; Aniol Esteban, director of the Marilles Foundation; Juan Calvo, coordinator of the Water Alliance; and Sandra Benbeniste, director of the Ibiza Preservation Foundation.

Manu San Félix commented “the most important thing is that we all know the problems and we are all very clear about what we have to do. Now, we have to work together in the same direction.”

Commitments and projects

The Marine Forum is aimed at the general public, but in addition more specific actions and meetings will be held for administration technicians, companies and the islands’ environmental associations.

The Forum’s Promoter Group and collaborating entities will prepare 10 environmental commitments or recommendations, based on the objectives set, which will be presented to Ibiza and Formentera’s local community. The commitments will be reviewed and enriched during the workshops with technicians and experts, with the aim that these agreements be adopted by administrations, businesses and civil society.

Once the expenses of this first edition are covered, any funds raised will be used to finance one to two projects related to the topics discussed at the Forum, to be approved by the Promoter Group.

“We are studying how to involve the education sector in this project, because we are convinced children are more sensitive to environmental problems and can be great ambassadors. We want the forum to become an annual reference,” said Cres Huerta.

Other mediums and expressions

The Promoter Group, from the first moment the creation of the Forum was outlined, wanted to provide space for other mediums to explain the concern about the situation of our marine environment. Art, in its various expressions, will be present at this event to amplify the message and reach audiences through dance, photography, painting or the theatre.

“Culture is very important,” said Marc Rahola. “It helps us to reflect on the problem and approach it from another perspective to help us get out.”

This is why, during the two days of the Forum, there will be an exhibition with photographs by Manu San Félix and paintings by Antonio Villanueva; contemporary dance by the Inervo company that will present their show “Oceanida”; sculptures built with reused plastics; and, street theatre and other artistic activities.

In addition, the Marine Forum intends to collaborate in the dissemination of other environmental events and activities being held in Ibiza and Formentera during September and October. The Promoter Group understands the sum of efforts to achieve a common goal always produces better results when what is intended is to improve the situation of our environment.

All information can be found here