Ibiza Preservation Foundation (IPF) was founded a decade ago by three admirers of the islands—William Aitken, Ben Goldsmith, and Serena Cook—in response to the increasingly alarming environmental damage to which Ibiza and Formentera have been subjected due to unsustainable development. Its three founders were witnessing how the place they had seen as “their paradise” was veering off on a course that had precious little to do with the region’s sustainable development.
Since its origins, in 2008, IPF has become a driving force for environmental conservation on the island. They have raised over one million euros, financed over 40 projects, and collaborated with 24 prominent organizations on the islands. They have set significant milestones committed to the fight against environmental degradation, creating Alianza Mar Blava to put a stop oil and gas drilling initiatives in the Mediterranean and starting Alianza del Agua, a leading promoter of sustainable integrated water management. Both organizations are composed of representatives of government bodies, private entities, the agricultural sector, and civil society.
By bringing different actors together to meet our objectives, we have managed to work to achieve better protection for the Posidonia prairies, helped plant 800 new almond trees, helped create a marine reserve in Tagomago, and collaborated with the Razas Autóctonas Federation, among many other projects.
We have grown over the years, consolidating our presence and identifying the islands’ future needs. That’s why we’ve decided to build on four basic lines of work: creating a Sustainability Observatory on Ibiza to monitor the key indicators of the island’s load-bearing capacity each year; Ibiza Produce, which bridges the gap between demand and supply of local products to help care for and preserve the island’s landscape; providing a strong impetus and support for the No Plastics movements on Ibiza and Formentera, and protecting the Posidonia.
New national and international environmental regulations, as well as standards at the Balearic Island regional level, are forcing us all to tackle new challenges and work faster and with greater commitment. At the moment, both Ibiza and Formentera are far from achieving sustainable development, and everyone—including individuals, entrepreneurs, and the authorities—must take an active role. Our future is at stake.
We need to work to ensure that future generations will have a chance to experience and enjoy the islands, not as we’ve known them, but in better conditions. More and more companies, institutions, and private citizens think that the Pityusic Islands have the can become a synonym of sustainability; and, to make this happen, we have to commit to renewable energy sources, turn this region into a free plastic space, and adequately treat wastewater before dumping it out to sea. And we also think that this vision is a forward-looking opportunity. We can stand aside and let Ibiza turn into an island like Malta, or work to attain a balance and achieve a sustainable future. We need leaders, politicians, and entrepreneurs with a long-term vision who are capable of negotiating and generous enough to take a stand and think about what kind of island we want to have 20 years from now.