Last year Save The Med launched the project “Discover your Marine Protected Area of Sa Dragonera” with support of Marilles Foundation. The projects aims to visualise the benefits that the local communities receive from having a well-managed Marine Protected Area (MPA) in their surroundings and engage as many people as possible in the lasting care of the zone and its wildlife.
Since then, citizens of the municipality of Andratx have been joining a variety of creative events, workshops and awareness initiatives through which they have been able to discover the rich biodiversity of the MPA, learn about its values and actively help to support it.
This ongoing project is expanding and over time taking on a life of its own, and you can join too! In future articles we will dive into the benefits of MPAs and the value they add to their local communities, with Dragonera as a prime example. Meanwhile, continue reading to find out more about the project and how you can get involved!
PhotoCollab, exhibitions, workshops and its own unique identity
Through a unique “PhotoCollab” locals and tourists of all ages who visited the area last year contributed over 100 photographs from under and above the sea surface towards the creation of the Dragonera Blava exhibition. Artists Emma Glinski and Nicholas Taylor donated their amazing talents and time to create a spectacular, immersive exhibition which attracted hundreds of visitors during the vernissage alone, and has since then travelled to a series of new locations, allowing visitors to discover the history of and wildlife around Sa Dragonera. To complete the exhibition Eduardo Miralles donated historic photographs from the times when locals struggled to protect the Island of Dragonera from construction and fought for its declarations as a National Park. Beautiful illustrations were donated by Javier Pérez de Amezaga Tomás who, in addition, gave the project a soulful identity of its own by using his talents to create a beautiful logo which has helped to promote the area, as well as been turned into posters and post cards, printed on reusable bags during awareness workshops for children and more.
The same community created photographs have made up the base for educational, interactive workshops in which over 200 school aged children have participated. They have learned to recognise the different marine habitats of Sa Dragonera MPA, gotten to know the species that inhabit them and learned about some of the threats they are facing and how to reduce them.
Educational resources, conversations and stakeholder involvement
The stunning and broad diversity of species in the area comes as a surprise to many. To ensure that not only divers can Discover their MPA, videos, games, leaflets and informational resources were created that can be found on Save The Med’s website and/or Youtube channel.
Local stakeholders, including among others, fishermen, scientists, business owners, divers and schools, have gotten together to share their ideas on how to promote and protect the MPA in meetings, presentations and online via the new community network Xarxa Dragonera Blava (The Blue Dragonera Network).
Community network ‘Xarxa Dragonera Blava’
Xarxa Dragonera Blava is a community network of businesses, organisations and individuals who offer activities and ignite new initiatives to promote the MPA, or who simply want to share information and stories of how they contribute to the protection of the MPA. Currently the network’s main communication channel is its Instagram profile where interesting information, initiatives, collaborations and events are shared.
Anyone who wishes to take action to support the Dragonea MPA in any way, shape or form can join the network and share their ideas and projects by either tagging @XarxaDragoneraBlava or sending an email to email@example.com.
The next organised activity will be a guided hike on Sa Dragonera during which we will discover the MPA from the Island. This is a family event scheduled to take place September 12th, with limited spots available. Information will be published on @XarxaDragoneraBlava and shared on Save The Med’s social media channels.
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