DIANDRA Douglas, pictured, former wife of Hollywood star Michael Douglas, will be one of the recipients of a Silver Siurell award from the Bulletin's sister paper Ultima Hora on Friday, in recognition of her continuing commitment to the island's environment and culture.
The award, which takes the form of a Siurell (a whistle traditionally in the form of a man on horseback) will be presented at a gala dinner to be held tomorrow night.
Q. What do you think of the award?
A. I'm delighted. I was brought up in Majorca, I feel Majorcan, and this recognition fills me with pride.
Q. Having been brought up in Majorca you will have seen a lot of changes in the island.
A. Yes, there have been good things such as the substantial improvement in the social services and health care and, for example, the development of the Balearic University, which has become an important academic centre.
Q. And there have been bad things....
A. There has been too much building and the law has not always been respected. Hotels, housing estates, golf courses, etc. Does anyone really believe that golf courses are only watered with the water from sewage farms? If they are, it is surely in a very low percentage, or at any event, much less than what they say. Too many wells are being opened for a Mediterranean island like Majorca. The bill for the destruction of Majorca which will be paid by our children and grandchildren is going to be very high and they will reproach us for our serious errors. I am concerned that our generation is only concerned with obtaining an immediate profit, in a very egotistical way, and does not assume the responsibility of conservations. The chiefs of the American Indian tribes would analyse the consequences of their decisions for up to seven generations later. It would not be a bad thing to follow their example.
Q. You have a very good relationship with (the environmental group) GOB.
A. I am impressed by their work. They have fought and done so much for Majorca. They deserve respect as they defended their ideals when ecology was not fashionable. Now, many want to make GOB's ideas their own, when years ago they rejected them. I have collaborated with GOB as much as I can, for example in the publication of the Mallorca Sostenible (Sustainable Majorca) guide, as I have collaborated with Jaume Santandreu in social projects.
Q. You have also created a Tramuntana owners association?
A. Yes, it is a form of being united in our common concerns, and we have approached GOB to share information and experiences.
Q. Have there been any reticences on the part of some owners because of this approach to ecologists?
A. No. There is always a certain fear of the unknown but it is a question of getting to know each other, reaching agreements, and seeing the other, in this case GOB; as a possible ally and friend. At all events, it is enough to see what most of the Tramuntana coast is like, in order to thank the owners for preserving it. A few decades ago, many of them could have sold their estates, built hotels or golf courses, but they did not do so. They preferred to preserve a culture, a heritage, an agriculture, centuries' old traditions, matters whose contents go much beyond the simply material.
A. Are you planning to come to S'Estaca more?
A. The truth is that up to now it has been very difficult as I have three small children and the long journey is an ordeal, but from now on it will be easier, less complicated.
Q. Are you pursued by paparazzi as much in California as in Majorca?
A. From time to time, yes, in both places, but I give few interviews and the media respect me.