Introducing the proposal for a Participatory Governance for the Isla del Aire

Menorca Preservation

“Over 50 people attended the presentation of the proposal of social and participative governance for the Marine Reserve of the Isla del Aire promoted by Menorca Preservation”

Menorca Preservation, in collaboration with other local entities such as GOB Menorca and OBSAM-IME, organised an open day on 6 February at the Albert Camus Conference Hall in Sant Lluís to gather opinions on the Isla del Aire area and to present our Proposal for a Participative Governance for the Marine Reserve of the Isla del Aire (RMIA).

Representatives of the different entities involved in the project, such as GOB Menorca, OBSAM-IME, and the Jaume Ferrer Research Station explained to the over 50 people attending the meeting, informative aspects of this important area of our island: the figures of protection that currently exist, socioeconomic data related to the business activity that takes place in the area in direct contact with the RMIA, and the natural values of its terrestrial environment, also highlighting the multiple scientific studies that are developed in the marine environment. The Isla del Aire is an important point of refuge, rest and feeding for many migratory birds, habitat of over 600 species of flora and fauna. Likewise, since the declaration of the Marine Reserve in 2019, not only has the biomass of fish living in the area doubled, but also their abundance has increased considerably, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of the protection measures put in place.

Therefore, the main objective of this gathering was to create a space for participation so that all those present could contribute their point of view and debate on the values of the Isla del Aire, the current problems it presents, possible proposals for improvement, and also to share how the public imagines the future of this protected area in order to jointly understand how we can work to better protect the Isla del Aire.

We are very grateful for the good reception that the project has received in this first meeting, and are pleased to have been able to count on the valuable opinions of many people from different areas: from residents of Sant Lluís and other towns on the island, to owners of companies close to the Reserve and representatives of the Consell Insular and the Balearic Government.

31% of the people registered in the municipality of Sant Lluís live in the urbanisations near the Marine Reserve

Our initiative to create a proposal for a Participative Governance around this area was the result of the concerns generated by the modification of the RMIA limitation, which led Menorca Preservation, along with several environmental organisations working in the field, to question whether the enormous economic and environmental benefits of achieving such protection in an area that is so special for Menorcans had really been properly communicated to the public. Thus, as a result of these conversations, it was proposed to start this process, with the aim of being able to create together a platform from which to weave networks of participation and dialogue, conflict resolution and decision making, in order to seek the most appropriate solutions in the management of this protected marine area, ensuring that the entire community involved really understands and takes ownership of the value and importance of this protected status.