CALVIA Council was presented with the prestigious Earth Summit Prize by the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Chamber of Commerce in Johannesburg over the weekend. Calvia was awarded the prize for the council's sustainable management of the environment and tourism, with the introduction of a number of innovative recycling programmes. The Mayor of Calvia, Margarita Nájera, in Johannesburg for the summit, said that the prize has been awarded in recognition of the great work carried out by the citizens, businesses, shopkeepers, neighbours, housewives, foreign residents and students who live in the municipality. UN Environment Programme director, Klaus Toepfer, said that Calvia has been singled out for its great achievements in the field of sustainable development and having created a social relationship between the council, local business and the rest of society. Nájera said that the council has been working hard for the past ten years to right the wrongs caused by rapid and uncontrolled development. She explained that the council has an obligation to the tour operators to meet a number of targets every day, such as water quality, beach cleanliness, security etc. and she claims they are being met -although over the past month a number of beaches have been closed by sewage leaks.
The municipality's own growth led to a reduction in quality, dirt and poor management of waste and water. But all that has been resolved thanks to having a good management strategy and the full co-operation of the local population, regional and central governments, she said. Nájera explained that most of Calvia's problems were caused by the development and tourism boom 30 years ago when no consideration was given to the environment, it was a case of the bigger the better and the closer to the sea, the better, we're now paying the price of having done things poorly in the past.