Miss W begs you: SOS! Save our sea from the proposed oil drilling!

miss-w-oil-protest

I’m lucky enough to have the Mediterranean Sea on my doorstep. Literally – when I walk outside of my home in Ibiza, there’s sparkling blue water as far as the eye can see. I find the natural beauty of the island absolutely breathtaking, and each and every day I count my lucky stars (of which there are plenty!) that I call this wonderful island home.

But who am I and why does this matter? I’m Miss W – editor of White Ibiza – and if you’re reading this blog, chances are that you, just like me, are passionate about Ibiza and would like to continue enjoying her stunning scenery, crystal clear waters and laidback lifestyle for many years to come.

Unless you’ve been living under an Es Vedra sized rock for the past few weeks, you will have heard the news of a proposed seismic survey – that is, a huge deep water drilling project in search of oil and natural gas – in the waters between Ibiza and Valencia. Our beautiful backyard is in serious danger… just think back to the devastation caused by an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and you’ll shudder at the the thought of such atrocities happening here in our Balearic paradise.

The people of Ibiza have united in demonstration against this potentially devastating project, with the creation of an official petition – one that has traveled from house to house, bar to bar and square to square across the island in the hopes of collecting the minimum of 30,000 signatures needed to be legally recognised by the Spanish government as an injunction against the project, urging them to issue a Negative Environmental Impact certificate to prevent this exploration going ahead.

But anyway… back to me (just for a second, promise!). The reason I am writing to you today is to implore you to PLEASE HELP US win the fight against the enemy spearheading this project, the Scotland-based company Cairn Energy. You – yes, YOU – CAN make a difference if you act now, NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN THE WORLD. The more signatures we obtain, the more likely we are for our voices to be heard. Let’s not stop at 30,000 – over 5 million people travel to Ibiza every summer… stand up and be counted if you have ever been one of them, or hope to become one of them in the future.

[Click here to go straight to the petition, or read on if you want to know more]

El Chiringuito 2010, Beach Restaurant

Now, I don’t profess to be an expert on these matters, though I read the papers every day and have studied websites detailing the issues at hand (and you can too! Click here for an in-depth look at scientific findings, case studies and some good, hard facts – English version coming soon) but I DO think we owe it to ourselves, our island and our future generations to act now to avoid regret later. Here’s a brief rundown…

First of all, think about this on an environmental level. While you may not initially see it on the surface, oil exploration projects dramatically affect the natural habitats, breeding and feeding grounds plus the migration patterns of thousands of living beings – birds, turtles, dolphins, fish and far too many more marine life to mention here, right down to miniscule eggs and larvae too small for the eye to see. Our UNESCO World heritage listed meadows of Posidonia seagrass could be lost forever. And this is barring catastrophic disasters such as oil spills – these are simply real life consequences of the basic seismic survey techniques.

Now put yourself into the picture. You’re gazing out the window of the plane as it descends onto the island, your beautiful view marred by a dark blot on the horizon – huge metal monstrosities jutting out of the sea as a reminder of the corporate greed that lies beneath. You drive through the salt flats of Salinas to be greeted by the sad sight of our once-stunning pink flamingos drenched in greasy oil, unable to take flight and escape this nightmare. Your daily holiday dip in the Mediterranean becomes virtually impossible due to the murky state of the water… and as for sailing across to Formentera? Forget it – that turquoise water and white shore is no more.

Cast your mind just a little further to the born-and-bred islanders and local residents who rely on the island’s tourism trade to keep them economically afloat and support their families, the seasonal workers who make their living in just a few short months of the year. Sure, we’d still have the world’s largest number of nightclubs per capita, but who wants to party in a club all night if you can’t sleep it off on the beautiful beaches before tucking into fresh seafood at our famous beach restaurants?

Once one of the most glamorous postcodes in the world, in the face of such ecological and economic disaster, Ibiza will lose its status as a highly-sought after holiday destination and quickly become an embarrassing tar stain or blot on the Mediterranean.

Santa Eulalia, Ibiza beach

Here at White Ibiza, we strongly support the social resistance to this project in collaboration with the Ibiza Preservation Fund and Alianza Mar Blava, a unique collective representing more than fifty organizations and institutions across Ibiza and Formentera, formed with the objective of preventing any future oil exploration projects going ahead.

Why? Because we love where we live and work. We love what we do. And we love sharing our insider knowledge and Ibiza experiences with you, our readers, and we hope to continue to do so for future generations who deserve to grow up and learn to love Ibiza too.

So again, we ask you – in fact, we URGE you – to please print* and sign** the petition at the link and send via urgent mail*** to the address below with a copy of your NIE, DNI or passport enclosed. The closing date for signed copies of the petition to be received is Friday February 7, 2013.

*The Spanish version of the petition (or Catalan) must be printed and signed three times –although English and German translations are available online so you know exactly what you’re signing, these have no legal bearing. It’s pretty simple to decipher, and you MUST ensure your NIE, DNI or passport number is clear and correct on each copy.

**Signatures MUST be original on all three copies. No photocopies or scans accepted

***Please mail to: WORLDFAMILYIBIZA, APDO 160, 07810 SANT JOAN, IBIZA, ESPAÑA

QUICK! What are you waiting for? For the cost of a postage stamp, you can really make a difference.

If you’ve read this far, I thank you! If you’re already printing and signing the petition, I applaud you. And if you could PLEASE share this article with your friends, family and social media connections to continue to raise awareness, I will love you forever! THANK YOU!

With sincerest thanks from Miss W Ibiza and everyone at White Ibiza xx

Beach Guide