Target: Isabel Garcia Tejerina, Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment
Goal: Prevent the destruction of the diverse wildlife and natural habitats off the coast of a beautiful Mediterranean island
Oil companies are eager to drill off the coast of the island of Ibiza in Spain, threatening the area’s diverse marine ecosystems. Cairn Energy, a Scottish oil company, is preparing to drill for oil off the country’s eastern coastline, which will ultimately destroy the flora and fauna that thrive in the waters surrounding the island. In 2011, the Spanish government granted Cairn Energy permits to explore the Gulf of Valencia for oil. Residents have expressed outrage over the decision, evidenced by a protest march that drew more than 10,000 supporters according to The Guardian. In response the Spanish government has simply stated that because the country imports approximately 99% of its oil and gas, drilling is a necessity for Spain’s energy security despite the huge costs to the environment.
Locals are unwilling to take this risk. Joan Tur, president of Pimeef, a federation of small businesses in Ibiza, states, “Ninety percent of the economy here is tourism. The island is a jewel. We have pristine water and clean sand. We are careful about our environment. We cannot take the risk to have an incident. Even the fact of having an oil platform [nearby] would mean the island has less value.”
Ibiza is the third largest of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea and is an autonomous community within Spain. It is celebrated for its nightlife culture and electronic music and attracts a high influx of international tourists. Its coast and waters are home to an impressive diversity of species including sea birds, frogs, turtles, dolphins, crustaceans and whales in addition to the rocky sea beds of Posidonia. The beautiful five-mile underwater meadow of Posidonia is a breeding ground for fish essential to helping keep the pristine waters clean.
Call on Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment to keep the waters and wildlife of Ibiza safe from oil drilling and revoke Cairn Energy’s permits.
Dear Ms. Tejerina,
The coast and waters of Ibiza are deeply treasured by locals and tourists who appreciate the area’s diverse wildlife. Although the Spanish government has already issued a permit to Cairn Energy to drill for oil in the Gulf of Valencia, you must reconsider the harmful environmental affects that will result. The destruction of pristine natural habitat is too high a cost regardless of how much oil may be obtained.
Aside from the destruction of the island’s marine ecosystems, the impact of drilling on local tourism could also be catastrophic. I urge you to protect the precious diversity of life in Ibiza’s waters by overturning Cairn Energy’s permits to drill there.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nanosanchez via Wikimedia Commons