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Forest regeneration as a natural solution for wildfire prevention in the Balearic Islands.

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Forest regeneration as a natural solution for wildfire prevention in the Balearic Islands.
  • This week will conclude the reforestation phase of over 4,000 native plant species on a plot of nearly 8 hectares in Cala Xarraca, which has also undergone forest thinning and firebreak creation.
  • The forest intervention, sponsored by the Six Senses Ibiza hotel, will continue until 2025 and aims to collaborate with nature to provide a sustainable solution to forest management.
  • According to its coordinator, Clara Cano, "We want to inspire and motivate the tourism industry, which mainly thrives on the natural beauty of the island, to invest in the destination itself."


The team from Six Senses Ibiza hotel has participated in the reforestation of a forested area in Cala Xarraca, in the municipality of Sant Joan de Labritja, as part of the Regenera Natura forest regeneration project. The area, which suffered a very serious fire in 2009, destroying a total of 34 hectares, is the first action of this pioneering project in the Balearic Islands aimed at collaborating with nature to provide a sustainable solution to forest management in the archipelago.

This first action, which involves an expert team in sustainability, forest engineering, and biology, has restored nearly 8 hectares, creating firebreaks, thinning the forest, and planting over 4,000 juniper and juniper species. Additionally, analyses and studies are being conducted with various biodiversity indicators such as soil quality and a plant species inventory to measure the evolution and impact of the intervention.

In this regard, its promoter, Clara Cano, explains that the environmental project develops forest engineering plans for silvicultural work to reduce abandoned forest improvement from degraded or particularly dense areas, and then repopulates the forests by recovering native species to create new mixed forests. "The increase in average temperature that we already suffer in the Balearic archipelago, and the abandonment of the forests make us especially vulnerable," explains Cano. "Moreover, these factors increase by 67% the chances of suffering a fire."


An action sponsored by the Six Senses Ibiza Sustainability Fund

The Cala Xarraca forest action of Regenera Natura was selected last year by the Six Senses Ibiza Sustainability Fund, a non-profit project created in 2021 to contribute, through its own funds, to the preservation of the natural environment and sustainable development on the island. Through the sustainability fund, Six Senses Ibiza finances 100% of the action, driven by Regenera Studio and in collaboration with public institutions.

"Seeing firsthand the progress and impact of this project is truly rewarding for us," explains Marta Cardoso, Six Senses Regional Sustainability Director. "In addition, the team-building activity has allowed us to convey to part of our team the importance of taking care of our forests as a vital ecosystem for Ibiza."

With the replanting of over 4,000 native plants, the forest action funded by the Six Senses Ibiza Sustainability Fund completes its first phase and will continue over the next few months with the analysis of bioindicators to analyze its evolution and carry out a replenishment of gaps in November 2024. According to Jacinto Valderrama, project engineer, "the high temperatures that are still to come, combined with rainfall data, will be decisive in analyzing the success results of the forest action."


A pioneering project in the Balearic Islands that promotes investment in natural heritage

Under the motto "Give back to Ibiza what Ibiza does for you," REGENERA NATURA emphasizes the importance of investing in natural heritage to preserve the value of the Ibiza destination. With 29,913 hectares of forests, the forested areas of the island "are a great treasure" that we must all take care of, not only for fire prevention but also to curb the constant loss of biodiversity in Ibiza. "We have been working for two years to make this project a tangible reality today," explains Clara Cano. "We want to inspire and motivate the tourism industry, which mainly thrives on the natural beauty of the island, to invest in the destination itself. It is a tedious task, but we try to make it understood that if Ibiza, as a tourist destination, loses its natural value, it will consequently affect the number of tourists who visit us annually. Who wants to travel to an island destination with dirty beaches, polluted waters, and dead forests?"

The project, which has more actions ready to be sponsored, works collaboratively with institutions and private property. "It is worth noting that more than 90% of forest land is private, which leads to widespread abandonment of our forests," points out the coordinator. "Therefore, we work from a collaborative approach that brings together the private sector, institutions, and forest landowners."


Future lines of action for REGENERA NATURA

The project is implementing an inclusive environmental education initiative that seeks to promote environmental awareness and highlight the skills of people with disabilities. This not only focuses on the acquisition and application of knowledge but also empowers these people to become agents of social change. "Our idea is to develop an educational awareness program for schools in Ibiza and Formentera," explains Clara Cano. "The reality is that we are gradually consolidating the project so that, in the short term, it can also have a social impact on our territory."

Additionally, thanks to collaboration with an AI specialized company, it is collecting historical data on forest fires in the Pitiusas Islands to develop, through technological innovation, a possible medium-term forecast of fires in Ibiza and Formentera. "This project, which was initially conceived as a CO2 capture and compensation project, has evolved a lot in these two years," points out Clara. "All our actions have an ecological basis that guarantee a forest intervention based on good environmental practices and developed according to the needs of the land to be restored."



REGENERA NATURA is a high-impact environmental project with one goal: to collaborate with nature to provide a sustainable solution to forest management on the islands. Through the development of forest engineering plans that integrate thinning of abandoned forest mass, reforestation is carried out with native species to create resilient mixed forests to climate change. Because these new mixed forests better regulate microclimate and soil temperature; decrease the spread of fires, and increase the capacity to capture carbon dioxide.





Fomento del Turismo de la isla de Ibiza

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Fomento del Turismo de la Isla de Ibiza (Island of Ibiza Tourism Development) is an association founded by a group of forward-looking people who set themselves the task of stimulating, promoting and developing the island's budding tourist industry.