Tag Archives: Sustainability

New alliances for a productive countryside

Visits: 230

GOB has signed an agreement with the Aland Foundation and the Association AIVelAL with the aim of giving support to the Land Stewardship Scheme and creating synergies with the action model of Landscape 4 Returns that is being promoted in various parts of the south east of the peninsula.

The three entities are agreed on the reading we make of the problems and the solutions we work on. We understand that both globally and locally we confront a grave problem of loss of soil fertility with its effects on agriculture. This situation feeds into other factors such as the need to adapt to climate change, the imperative to reduce greenhouse gases and to create a better coexistence with biodiversity.

The three entities also share a vision of agriculture as part of the solution. This means regenerative agriculture where the care of the soil is central, spaces for biodiversity are essential and where short chains of commercialization are promoted that revitalise the local economy.

The Land Stewardship Scheme will form part of the network of Landscape 4 Returns, an approach that seeks to restore agricultural management through four ways of action, or “returns” to use its terminology. The Natural Return that improves the soil, biodiversity and water management. The Economic Return that creates employment, professional networks and generates benefits. The Social Return that creates a better quality of life and welfare. The Inspiration Return that creates a reference community for other places with similar problems.

The Aland Foundation has been working since 2021 with the aim of catalysing initiatives for land regeneration through the model of Land 4 Returns. Their vision is of Iberian territory on which economy and ecology are aligned with regenerated countryside landscapes resilient to climate change. They want to promote a more energetic, active and professional world valued by an aware society and has the capacity to inspire others. The Foundation will help to find funding for the programme.

The AlVelAl Association was the first to become part of this network. Since 2015 it has been working in the regions of the Granada Plateau, Los Velez, Alto Almanzora, the north east of Murcia and Guadix all in the southeast of Spain. It is a local initiative that brings together agricultural and cattle farmers, entrepreneurs, researchers and people from different sectors of the population with the aim of restoring the country landscape of this area that is threatened by desertification, depopulation and lack of opportunities. The Association is committed to regenerative agriculture, the restoration of ecosystems and the creation of businesses that add value to local products and generate sustainable employment.

We at GOB celebrate the new collaboration that will improve aspects of advice, viability and knowledge of successful experiences in new farming networks. The Land Stewardship Scheme continues to enlarge its effectiveness and more and more producers and consumers are joining in.

To know more about the Land Stewardship Scheme we invite you to watch different videos that we have on our Youtube Channel

Thursday 9 March, Law of the Reserve of the Biosphere, debate in Ferreries

Visits: 171

The opportunities, challenges, significant and insignificant advances in different topics covered by the recent Law of the Reserve of the Biosphere of Menorca, will be explored by GOB this Thursday at 20.00 hours in Cas Vesins, Ferreries.

Matter to be transferred or delegated will be analysed, as well as the distinguishing managements foreseen in different issues such as the landscape, tourist model, decarbonisation, water, the coastline, the marine environment, air and other subjects.

After the introduction, the debate will be open to attendees. The event is open to the public.

You may watch the commemorative video of 45 years of GOB here

Increased tourist inspection in Menorca

Visits: 261

GOB welcomes the increase on the staff of tourist inspectors in Menorca. With the recent addition of two, there will be seven to carry out this work.

The emergence of digital platforms has led to the mass rental of houses to tourists, many of which are unauthorised. This problem is not exclusive to Menorca, but it has been estimated that there are between 6,000 to 7,000 houses that make undeclared rentals.

Apart from the short-term income that can be made by some property owners, the situation is causing two negative consequences at the collective level. The most evident is the overcrowding in summer. Last August there were some 35,000 people unknown where they slept. This number is estimated by discounting the registered population, the recognised tourist places and the margin of people that stay in houses of families or friends.

Having such a large volume of tourists occupying unplanned places is making the island suffer from evident overcrowding, when, in fact, a policy to contain the growth of new urbanizations has been made.

However, tourist rental is recognised as one of the main reasons for the lack of available housing for the resident population or for those who come to work seasonally.

In effect, there are about 28,000 places that are legalized for this mode, which is equivalent, according to official figures, to some 5,600 houses. If this is added to the number of 6,000 or 7,000, undeclared rental houses cited above, we come to spectacular figures.

In order to curb the negative consequences GOB has asked on several occasions to increase substantially the amount of work for controlling the situation. For this reason, reinforcing the tourist inspection service has been received very positively.

Overcrowding Menorca and leaving it without places to live is not a good way to go for the Island. As has been said on many occasions, the collective interest should prevail over the individual.

Look at the commemorative video of the 45 years that GOB has been in Menorca.

The Land Stewardship Scheme reaches Lebanon

Visits: 122

The Land Stewardship Scheme of Menorca generates interest in distant places. Recently there has been an exchange with Lebanon in an area that also has a declared Reserve of the Biosphere, which applies similar programmes with those of Menorca in order to invigorate agricultural management and environmental conservation.

Al-Shouf Cedar Society (ACS) is a non-profit organization that manages the land in the Reserve of the Biosphere of Shouf famous for its spectacular millennial cedars. The economic crisis and the conflicts surrounding the country led to land being abandoned, which now represents new opportunities.

Al-Shouf has a very interesting management of biomass from pruned branches and farm manure, which has involved different land agencies in the area, so waste becomes a resource. It also works to preserve its territorial mosaic providing functional and environmental values, as is the case with Menorca.

On a Lebanese initiative, a delegation came to Menorca last October to learn about our Land Stewardship Scheme at first hand to gain a better understanding of some of the strategies and activities that we carry out. Amongst other things, they were particularly interested in the monitoring of bio indicators on farms and the work carried out by volunteers.

Recently, a Menorcan delegation, with technicians from the Reserve of the Biosphere Agency and members of GOB visited Lebanon and it was possible to go to different conservation projects and see the recovery and beneficial exploitation of some of the areas. Explanations were given to the Lebanese on the alliance between farmers, owners and conservationists that is being promoted in Menorca.

The visit to Lebanon included an interview with the Spanish Ambassador who was very satisfied with the collaboration already established and offered his help in any way he could. The Deputy Chief of Mission attended the signing of an agreement for encouraging the sharing of successful experiences between the two places.

The Al-Shouf organisation and GOB are part of the Alliance for Nature and Mediterranean Culture that aims to work internationally in the search for solutions for providing healthy food, for the management of land sustainability and the recovery of biodiversity.

We hope that this new collaboration can bear fruit in joint projects and that, little by little, we can see the impact we make on each side of the Mediterranean.

Watch the video here commemorating the 45 years of GOB in Menorca.

Water in Menorca, a debate on Thursday at the Ateneu

Visits: 123

This evening, Thursday 2 February at 19.30 at the Maó Ateneu, the first of the round table debates of the cycle 700 Km2 will take place. They aim to explore the limits of Menorca for both the present and the future, at a time when serious problems of natural resources and overcrowding are evident. Experts will be participating giving their points of view and giving the opportunity to debate with those attending. These debates will take place every Thursday during the month of February at the Ateneu. The four debates will concentrate on water, transport, nautical saturation and the reception capacity of tourists to the island.

At this first round table, José Antonio Fayas will participate. He is an engineer who for many years has been following the problems of our aquifers and proposing solutions. Also, Agusti Rodriquez, hydrogeologist, who has taken part in different studies on Menorca’s aquifers and in the planning of the management of water by the island’s different town halls. Finally, Joana Maria Garau, Director General of Water Resources of the Balearic Government who is responsible for the management of bodies of fresh water, both surface and underground.

Fresh water is a grave problem for us and that has been talked about for a long time, without it ever being resolved. Quite the contrary, it seems to be getting worse. To be able to have first-hand information and to know what measures are being applied is important to be able to forecast how this resource can affect the wellbeing of the island’s population, its economy and the environment.

The cycle has been organised by GOB and the Maó Ateneu with the support of Menorca Preservation.

Wednesday 30 November, talk in Mahon on the Son Bou hotels

Visits: 165

The controversy regarding the hotels on Son Bou, with the context of tourist overcrowding and the deficiencies found in the processing of a project that aims to consolidate and increase the volume of these constructions on the front line, will be analysed at a public meeting on Wednesday evening. Continue reading Wednesday 30 November, talk in Mahon on the Son Bou hotels

Become part of GOB, 45 years later (video)

Visits: 147


Many people say they have always wanted to be a part of GOB, but they never find the right moment. Now is an ideal time . This is because we are celebrating 45 years of uninterrupted years of ecology, of an association that has not stopped growing and establishing itself socially. Continue reading Become part of GOB, 45 years later (video)

Saturday, a public event in recognition of Jaume Pons, as recipient of the Pere Prats Prize for the Environment

Visits: 145

You are invited to attend the occasion for the public recognition of Jaume Pons as the recipient of the Pere Prats Prize for the Environment. It will be this Saturday 19 November at 19.00 hours at the Molí del Rei (Camí des Castell, 53, de Maó). It is an opportunity to thank him for so many years of his dedication as a professional vet voluntarily caring for the animals that enter the Recuperation Centre for Wild Animals of Menorca. Continue reading Saturday, a public event in recognition of Jaume Pons, as recipient of the Pere Prats Prize for the Environment