An investment of 1% of the budget is the minimum we need to ensure that we bring our sea and coastline back to an excellent state of conservation. | Miquel Gomila

On October 13, Marilles met with the president of the Balearic government, Marga Prohens, to talk about the need to take action to protect the marine and coastal environment of the Balearic archipelago.

Marga Prohens, Aniol Esteban, Xavier Pastor, Natalia Barrientos and Juan Manuel Lafuente.
Photo: Govern de les Illes Balears

During our meeting at the Consolat de la Mar, we encouraged President Prohens to commit to take forward the Balearic Blue Deal: a roadmap to protect the Balearic sea which has already been endorsed by nearly 200 companies and organisations.

The Balearic Blue Deal consists of five key measures: declaring marine sanctuaries in 10% of the Balearic Sea, advancing sustainable fisheries, protecting vulnerable habitats and species, cleaning our waters, and lastly – the key ingredient to make all this possible – making funding available. We formally requested the government to allocate 1% of the public budget to marine conservation and handed over a documented set of measures and actions that the government can take forward to start walking the way with regard to implementing the Balearic Blue Deal.

Marilles Foundation positively values the predisposition of the government to implement the Balearic Blue Deal. We hope that this receptiveness will translate into the implementation of concrete measures in the government’s plan and in the coming budgets.

Photo: Miquel Gomila

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. The Balearic Parliament recently voted in favour of making it possible. Now is the time to move from words to action. The Balearic civil, economic, and political sectors have sent a clear message: We want to see more political action and investment in marine conservation. This is a strong message that we hope the government has heard very clearly and will act upon. An investment of 1% of the budget is the minimum we need to ensure that we bring our sea and coastline back to an excellent state of conservation. This amount must be in addition to existing investment in water infrastructure.

To make the commitments of the Blue Deal 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 given more staff and resources. We also need to bring in the commitment of the private sector. Mechanisms must be put in place to encourage contributions from economic sectors whose future is closely linked to the conservation of the sea, such as the tourism, fisheries, and boating sectors. The economic prosperity of these islands and the wellbeing of our citizens depend on it!