In the year that GOB Menorca celebrates 45 years of its existence, we now have 1500 members, having grown at a rate of practically one every four days. On Tuesday, GOB Menorca held an annual meeting where the work that has been done during the year and the forecast of the activities for the next year with the corresponding budget were approved. In addition, the Island Board of Directors and the interisland presidency were renewed.
During 2022, GOB has continued working at a good pace offering sustainability alternatives for Menorca, contributing to the wellbeing of its people. It has been a year of debate and mobilizations about tourist overcrowding, which will continue. The law of the Reserve of the Biosphere is pending in Parliament. Converting out of date hotels for current use worries us and, even more so, when we see that regulations and interests to maintain such a model, as in the case of the large hotels at Son Bou, to make the alterations they want, by our criteria, do not comply with the law. We have also shown how we are going ahead with the protection of the marine environment, despite lots of resistance and some backward steps.
The growth in the number of affiliated people has been accompanied by increased activity. 3700 people have participated in 92 public activities. 1857 students have taken part in the 101 environmental education activities. In six leisure activities such as camps and weekend outings, 103 young people have been involved. 155 people have an active agreement for volunteering. The Land Stewardship Scheme has been expanded with 37 estates signed up to the agreement with GOB. The Centre for Recuperation for Wild Animals has taken in 1300 animals. The Es Viver garden centre has distributed 10,000 plants suitable for sustainable gardening, 20,000 ecological seedlings for the garden and more than 500 fruit trees of local varieties.
The assembly approved a budget for 2023 of 674,000 euros. Membership fees and donations represent 13% of the revenue, which guarantee total independence and allows us to finance so much work dedicated to environmental policies. The rest of the projects (environmental education, the Wildlife Recuperation Centre, etc.) require other sources of finance: 66% comes from the private sector (services, sales and sponsorships) and only 21% from various public ministries (town halls, the Island Government, The Balearic Islands Government, European Union…) that help with different GOB initiatives that are a clear benefit to the Island.
Bosco Febrer was re-elected as the president of the Interisland GOB, pending the results of the assemblies of Mallorca and Ibiza. The Island Board of Directors for Menorca was approved with Carlos Coll as President and another 25 people: Bosco Febrer; Agustí Gómez; Xavi Camps; Cecilia Ligero; Jaume Obrador; Josep Mercadal; Santiago Udaeta; Tomeu Sánchez; Geroni Marqués; Aina Blanco; Ismael Peregrino; Marta Carreras; Vicky Bargiela; Granada del Río; Eduard Furró; Pepa Orfila; Jaume Franch; Magda Seoane; Xema Moya; Joan Carrés; Margalida Masferrer; Francesc Domènech; Isabel Pérez-Chuecos; Gemma Capdevilla; Giulia Massaro. Apart from being numerous, it is a board made up of people from diverse areas of experience and a large spectrum of ages.
2023 will be very challenging. In addition to the general uncertain situation, there is an opportunity to define a regulatory framework in response to the problems such as overcrowding and for the protection of water resources. The approval of the Island Land Planning and for the Reserve of the Biosphere Law are key regarding this and GOB will continue working to incorporate efficient measures for the sustainability of the Island. We will continue working for the future of the Agriculture sector as a tool for improving the environment, the climate crisis, the protection of the marine environment, waste reduction, responsible consumption, the preservation of the landscape, sustainable transport… In all these fields and others, GOB hopes its work continues to add positively to the environmental sustainability of Menorca.