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IbizaPreservation celebrates 15 years of success

We look backwards and forwards with our favourite charity’s Director

15 years of unstinting efforts and actions to conserve the islands’ unique natural heritage.  That’s the achievement of IbizaPreservation, the foundation that - in 2023 - celebrates its 15th anniversary. 

Ibiza Spotlight met up with its Executive Director, Inma Saranova at our joint co-working space theHub to hear about the Foundation’s attainments in the past decade and a half and its aims in the near future.

IS: Tell us about the highpoints over the past 15 years.

IP: “Naturally, as co-founders of the Mar Blava Alliance, we’re proud of having played our part in halting oil prospecting in the waters near Ibiza and Formentera. On top of that, we’re very happy to have forged so many partnerships since we started. We’re also really pleased with the financial support we have received over the years: nearly 4M Euros in total since 2008!”

IS: What have been the highlights for IP in the last 18 months?

IP: “Firstly, we have managed to strengthen our ties with important island institutions including PIMEEF (the association of small and medium-sized businesses) and the Island Council, who congratulated us on our efforts so far. I should also point out the vital role played by lending our support to existing ecological movements in the form of alliances.

We’ve given awards to three primary school classes as part of our Responsible Youth initiative and have held workshops for nightclubs to encourage them to reduce their plastic footprint.

Lastly, we’ve held two highly successful charity dinners - one recently in Beachouse in Playa d’en Bossa, at which we raised over 67,000 Euros - and the other at Park Chinois, in London’s Mayfair, where we raised 100,000 Euros. In fact, 2022 was our record year for fundraising with donations totalling over 500,000 Euros.”

IS: That’s very encouraging to hear. What is the secret of the Foundation’s success?

IP: “Lots of hard work and, most importantly, our ever-increasing efforts to forge alliances with many local, regional and national organisations, not to mention international players such as the UN and National Geographic. It’s incredible to think that we have become involved with no less than 50 initiatives since we were founded in 2008.”

IS: Bring us up to date on recent developments

IP: “Since 2018, our focus has been on four key projects: Ibiza Produce, Plastic Free Ibiza & Formentera, Posidonia Protection, and Sustainability Observatory. In addition, we are working on two new lines of action for 2023: protecting the island’s iconic lizard population from the increasing threat posed by non-native snakes introduced here over the last 20 years; and promoting fair and sustainable fishing in the Balearics.” 

IS: Let’s hear more about the four key projects

IP: “Ibiza Produce exists to promote KM0 produce and regenerative farming techniques that safeguard the health of the soil and produce better quality food. As such, we organise regular workshops and meetings with local farmers. We’re pleased to report that there has been an increase in the area of organic farming on Ibiza to 1,023 hectares in 2022.

Furthermore, we have co-organised two seminars on food waste reduction as part of our Zero Waste campaign. Naturally, emphasising local food production using regenerative agriculture also contributes to bringing this about.

Plastic Free Ibiza and Formentera (PFIF) aims to eliminate the use of single-use plastics. This is an alliance of a dozen island-based green groups, and an important aspect of our work is the recent creation of a Balearic-wide certification to reduce single-use plastics in the catering and hotel sectors. In 2021 and 2022, this succeeded in removing around a million plastic bottles from the supply chain. PFIF’s goal of eliminating plastics in the tourism sector in general has also seen it sign up to the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, a UN-run programme.

Our campaign to protect the island’s unique underwater Posidonia Seagrass meadows has included workshops for charter companies and skippers, training sessions with local organisations and continued support for the educational initiative, Vellmari’s Formentera Dive Camp, enabling youngsters to learn about the issue at first hand. As part of our commitment to social equality, IbizaPreservation’s donation made it possible for 22 teenagers from underprivileged backgrounds to attend free-of-charge in 2022. 

Finally, the Sustainability Observatory, which studies nearly 50 environmental indicators related to 11 UN Sustainable Development Goals, continues to do invaluable work reporting on factors such as wastewater treatment, waste management and changes in the agricultural sector as well as mapping land use across all five of Ibiza’s municipalities.” 

IS: And what of the new initiatives?

IP: “This year, we launched Protegim Ses Sargantanes (“Protecting the lizards”), a project that aims to build on work already started by other local green groups. So far, we have started two mass snake-trapping projects in the protected areas of Ses Feixes and Ses Salines and, with the help of several hotels on Ibiza, installed numerous lizard sanctuaries to help protect urban populations of the species. Then there’s the Calant Xarxes (“casting nets”) project that brings together foundations across the Balearics and international environmental organisations in promoting sustainable fishing practices and tackling the problem of illegal fishing.”

IS: Our readership is largely made up of people living outside Ibiza; how can they play a part?

IP: “Every year, people wishing to visit Ibiza email us asking what they can do to help and whether it’s possible to volunteer with IbizaPreservation. For those, on the other hand, who simply wish to enjoy their vacations here in the ‘greenest’ manner possible, we would urge all prospective visitors to read our 10 simple actions to make holidaying on Ibiza and Formentera more sustainable. Of course, they can also donate directly via the IbizaPreservation website, too. 

From all this interest, it’s clear many tourists are keen to see changes. Precisely for this reason, the tourism sector needs to work on making the islands a more sustainable destination.”

IS: Inma, you’ve been Executive Director now for almost two years, what are you most proud of in that time?

IP: “We’ve made huge advances in improving our transparency and management to the extent that we hope that IbizaPreservation can be seen as one of the most transparent groups currently working in the Balearics. We’ve also created new protocols to govern our relations with other entities and suppliers, as well as establishing new guidelines in respect to equality. In other words, both internally and externally, it’s been a very productive period for us.”  


IS: As ever, the team at Ibiza Spotlight thank you and your organisation for all your efforts and look forward to hearing more about your successes in future.


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