Without limits there is no future
Touristic overcrowding and the excess in building are consuming Balearic Islands every day. The destruction rate of territory, of landscape, of our own house, is unusual. Many ecosystems that have held life through centuries are changing to urban sprawls. This expansion is transforming beautiful landscapes and places with an ancient and rich history to places without soul. This urbanising process is being done without taking care of the existing natural resources, the orography, local level, historic nucleous or the pre-existing culture.
It is estimated that at Balearic Islands more than one land hectare has been urbanised per day during the last 6 decades. This process continues relentlessly, encouraged by an economy of endless demand and no no limits. In fact, if Balearic Islands were the Earth, we would need 7 more planets in order to ensure the present consumption level. It is due to this consumption that it can be said that we beat all the negative records: overcrowding, water and energy consumption, waste production, car rental, polluting emissions, etc. During 2016 we are experiencing the highest human pressure of history and it is foreseen that it is going to continue growing during the next years under an urban planning that allows to overcome 3,7 milion places. This horizon is just unacceptable.
These turistic records, however are not reverting today in the improvement of the living conditions of most of the people. The housing prices, rental housing and some basic commodities rise and rise, meanwhile salaries, household incomes and labour rights are being reduced. Young people do not have any labour future here if not working at a hotel or as a construction worker. Business is done here, we know, but it ruins us ecologically and impoverishes us. In addition we feel like foreigners in our own land. Who has not avoided going to a place by the sea or a place in town town because it is overcrowded and exploited till the abuse? Taking all these things together are generating serious problems of coexistence between tourists and local people and in the end we all get harmed.
This model also promotes corruption, foreign dependence and a serious water scarcity never seen before. The insular agriculture as a quality food-producer that holds singular landscapes goes backwards everyday. Swimming pools replace trees in farmland and the sea and seaside are privatized and get dirty. On the other hand, natural areas that have been saved are overcrowded and do not have enough resources to be kept in a good conservation state.
Thousands of people have mobilized during decades to claim for a decent living that does not involve to destroy our territory. Great victories have been achieved and dozens of threatened places have been saved. But now everything is in danger and time is rushing against us: a determined action to defend the territory of all the islands is needed.
For all of these reasons we do this call. We demand an appropriate answer to the social and ecological crisis we are living. We require to slow down the exaggerated use of territory that merely pursues to create more places and renounce to build infraestructures that encourage the urban development based on oil. We want to preserve the landscape, and to do it we need to preserve the coastline and the countryside definitively. We ask to stop new coming ports and airports, golf and polo courses, to abandon the projects of new motorways and high power lines and to implement a sustainable mobility model.
We do ask for democracy and social welfare, to put the institutions at the service of 99% of people, to improve decent housing programmes at reasonable prices and promote economic alternatives to tourism. We are outraged to hear only empty words while we are facing a social and ecological collapse. We are calling for planning, we do not want to have to run to attend environmental emergency and over-exploitation situations.
We do want to move towards sustainability, we are aware that it can only be achieved by reducing future housing and touristic growth. We claim the Government and Mallorca Island Council real mesures and a step change in the policies that affect the territory. All citizens of the Balearic Islands require courage from our governing authorities, specific actions and commitment with public interest. We want to have the hope for a better future and this only will be possible with determination. We do not want to wait any longer, we can not wait any longer. We do know that it is possible and now is the time, because without limits there is no future either.
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