The project is to be financed by Scottish company Cairn Energy, famous for their controversial decision to drill for oil in the environmentally fragile Arctic Circle. The company has been given the go ahead by government officials in Madrid amidst strong local opposition.
In an almost unanimous show of unity, over 50 organizations across Ibiza and Formentera, including local government institutions, political organisations, town halls and local businesses have got together to form the ‘Alianza Mar Blava’ (The Mar Blava Alliance). Their objective? To stop the oil exploration going ahead.
Issue 1 - oil leaks and damage to coastline
To begin with, they contest that there is a real danger of a potentially catastrophic oil leak deep beneath the sea, like the one seen in the gulf of Mexico during 2010. It was one of world’s worst environmental disasters which saw tragic, widespread destruction of coastline along with the death of countless fish, mammals and birds.
Great damage can also be caused by the acoustic surveys used in ‘phase one’ of such exploratory projects, emitting sound waves that can reach between 10,000 and 100,000 times louder than the engines of a jet plane.
Issue 2 - acoustic surveys and death of marine life
There is wide scientific consensus that such sound levels devastate marine life, interfering with ability to orientate, breed and navigate. Eggs and larva are destroyed and internal bleeding, injuries and eventually death, are the result.
Issue 3 - Danger to whales, dolphins and turtles
The proposed site of the oil rig also happens to be smack bang in the path of the western Mediterranean’s migratory corridor used by whales, dolphins and turtles. Quite aside from being an ugly eyesore on the beautiful Ibiza coastline, the oil rig would threaten their survival.
Issue 4 - No more clean seas
Finally, the ancient marine meadows of Posidonia seagrass, UNESCO world heritage site and what keeps the seas crystal clear and clean around Ibiza and Formentera, would be irrevocably damaged. The accumulation of toxic chemicals used in the second and third ‘phases’ of the UK energy giant’s project would be inevitable, say the Alliance.
What can I do?!
Here at Ibiza Spotlight, we feel a responsibility to the island. Ibiza has been very good to us all during the decades we’ve been here, helping to share her beauty and magic with the world. We feel compelled to add our voice to those who want to see Ibiza remain unspoiled.
So ladies and gentlemen, if you too love Ibiza, her natural magnificence, her beautiful beaches and healthy, clean seas, we invite you to help to protect her.
Ways you can help:
In Ibiza right now? Come to Vara del Rey, Ibiza Town this Saturday, Jan 25th, between 11-17 hrs with your passport or DNI. This will enable you to sign an official petition requesting that the Spanish authorities withdraw their support for the oil exploration project. This is the best help you can give! The official petition is important because decision makers are legally obliged to consider it. We need 30,000 signed documents for the petition to succeed.
Not in Ibiza but still want to sign the petition? You can download it from here in English, Spanish and German. NOTE! It has to be printed off 3 times. Although you can read the form in English and German so that you understand, you must print and sign this SPANISH version! You sign each copy, then send it, along with a photocopy of your passport to: WORLDFAMILYIBIZA, APDO 160, 07810 SANT JOAN, IBIZA, ESPAÑA. This needs to be sent by Friday, Jan 31st at the latest to be included in the final count.
No access to a printer (sob!) but still want to help? You can sign an online petition at Change.org here. This petition has no legal bearing unfortunately, but it does still help to indicate public opposition to the oil rig. It’s also in Spanish, but google translate can quickly help with that!
Petitions aren’t really my thing, is there anything simple I can do? Yes! Share this article on your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram etc) and help to raise awareness.
We offer our sincere thanks to those of you that take the time to act. Together, let’s keep Ibiza clean, safe and beautiful for generations to come.
Photo credits: our thanks to Ibiza Anti-Petrolífera for giving permission to publish their photos.
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A new parade and series of events will take place 8-12 July 2015.