Last week, two groups of locals, visitors and ecologists joined the Save The Med team on-board the boat Falcao Uno, an emblematic and classic yacht from 1965. The groups were made up of participants in the new campaign “Discover your Marine Protected Area Sa Dragonera", a collaborative project launched by Save The Med and supported by Marilles Foundation, that aims to optimise the protection of the area.
The new project aims to bring Dragonera’s surrounding community closer to the marine life, helping citizens discover the island’s ecological and economic value, and actively participate in its protection. It invites local communities, including people, students, businesses… of all ages and backgrounds and from all sectors, to engage in a series of collaborative projects throughout 2019 - 2020, all of which highlight the value of marine protected areas in general, and Sa Dragonera in particular. The first in this series of collaborative projects was the PhotoCollab, for which participants sent in their own photos of Sa Dragonera, above and below water. A unique collage, using the images, is currently being created by the talented artist Emma Glinski and will be exhibited in November in the Townhall of Andratx.
Meanwhile, the participants in the PhotoCollab, spent a day each with us cruising the beautiful waters around the island. And Sunday 12th it was time to pay tribute to the pioneers Sa Dragonera’s protected status, who took part in the first ecological movement in Majorca, over 40 years ago, one which resulted in the declaration of the National Park of Sa Dragonera.
The trips highlighted the value of the ecosystems, landscapes and wildlife in Sa Dragonera and its’ surrounding waters. They also confirmed the value of collaborative initiatives, and how these can be used as an opportunity to achieve shared objectives.
The groups shared stories from the past about the tireless efforts that were taken for the protection of the island, talked about the challenges that the marine area is currently facing, and discussed its’ future.
“The photos taken today will be used in the future, to measure the effects of this area’s protection,” said Jaume, one of the participants of the FotoColab who conveyed his concern for the current environmental situation. In his eyes, Sa Dragonera is an emblematic island. As a passionate photographer, he was keen to share his photography to help preserve the island and its marine environment.
Through participatory activities, the experience was categorised by a shared feeling of pride and belonging.
Xavier Pastor, biologist, former President of the GOB and former Executive Director of Greenpeace, Spain, thanked all those who took part in this victory for paving the way for the protection of the area, ever since the first activities on Dragonera. ”It’s great to see that people, very young people, are getting involved in the protection of the marine reserve”, he said.
Josep Manchado, managing director of Medi Ambient of the Consell de Mallorca, expressed his worries about people’s tendency to not take care of the unseen and the unknown, which he considers a critical point for the care of our oceans. According to Manchado: “People must know the sea to value it. The sea is the future and without healthy seas we will not survive”
If you want to know more or get involved in the project, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
A big thank you to Marilles Foundation, Falcao Uno, E3 Systems, and Mallorquinament Puig for their support and to Swen (@news_exposure ) for taking photos during the event!