SAVE THE TRAMUNTANA
CIVIL MANIFESTO FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE MALLORCAN SERRA DE TRAMUNTANA
In the light of the current situation and the model of tourism that has developed over the past years in the Serra de Tramuntana
the lack of initiative, on behalf of the Administration, to address many of the area's problems and threats,
we, a group of people who live in and love the Serra de Tramuntana
are putting forward this manifesto with the hope that as many people as possible will join with us and that this civil movement may contribute to solving some of the issues that are listed as follows and set out below:
- THE CONSERVATION OF THE TRAMUNTANA
- AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS NOT OVERCROWDED
- QUALITY NON-ELITIST TOURISM
- A LIVING LANDSCAPE FOR A THRIVING TRAMUNTANA
- TO PUT AN END TO THE ABUSES
- ORDINANCES TO REGULATE NON-HIKING RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
- SUPPORT FOR TRADITIONAL HIKING
- ADMINISTRATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENTS
We are aware that the current management of the Serra de Tramuntana cannot guarantee in any way its future conservation, therefore, we want to seize the opportunity of the coming elections to promote a social consensus and demand a political pact for the Tramuntana whereby the parties put aside their differences so that our children and grandchildren are able to enjoy a Tramuntana as diverse, healthy and rich in traditions as we and our forefathers have enjoyed.
1. THE CONSERVATION OF THE TRAMUNTANA
We are aware of how much the model of development based on tourism has provided for the island of Mallorca, as well as the fact that there is a current social debate regarding the future model of development of the island. With this manifesto, we are not seeking to form an opinion about the island as a whole, but we would like to make sure that tourism and development are not used as an excuse to continue with the destruction of our landscape and our culture in the Serra de Tramuntana. We are aware of the impossibility of restoring the lost beauty of the Mallorca of the virgin coastlines, but we are still in time to save from overcrowding and neglect what we still have: the Serra de Tramuntana. Let's not stand by and watch, lets act. Let's save the Tramuntana and lets demand a political pact to do so!
2. AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS NOT OVERCROWDED
The Serra de Tramuntana must not repeat the excesses committed elsewhere on the Mallorcan coast. We do not want the opportunistic short-term attitude nor the institutional indifference to give way to mass tourism and the inevitable and irreversible destruction of our values, our landscape, our traditions and the mediterranean way of life. We believe that the civil society should mobilize to avoid this. Despite the alarming overcrowding of the past few years no initiatives have been developed to solve the problems that have arisen. On the contrary, it seems as though the Serra de Tramuntana is being used as a limitless tourist attraction, regardless of the threat that this poses to the environment, the inhabitants and our valuable heritage.
3. QUALITY NON-ELITIST TOURISM
We ask for a model of quality tourism that promotes our natural and cultural values without being elitist. We need measures to correct and avoid the present disarray and excesses. Our current model only undermines our future as a tourist destination while devaluing our natural and cultural environment. The typical policies that disregard the long term consequences for short term benefits are always dangerous and have dire results.
4. A LIVING LANDSCAPE FOR A THRIVING TRAMUNTANA
We want specific agricultural policies for the Tramuntana that in some way and to some degree, can contribute to making the land profitable. These policies must help to maintain, at least in part, the traditional landscape of the mountains. We do not want to see more acres of ancient olive trees dying, more terrace walls falling into decay, flocks of sheep declining and less and less people working the land, while the institutions turn a blind eye and take no measures to reverse the trend. The administration must promote a responsible management of forests and garrigues that can provide employment for our traditional agricultural workers and dry stonewall builders. With a well managed and healthy Tramuntana the terrible wildfire of 2013 would most definitely have been far less severe. We must support the traditional trades to preserve our cultural heritage. In addition, we demand concrete steps towards the conservation of marine biodiversity and responsible coastal management. We want the recovery of fishing resources and the revival of traditional fishing. We want the administration to provide the means to enforce the measures that will allow this to happen. At present, the human and material resources are clearly insufficient.
5. TO PUT AN END TO THE ABUSES
We do not want the Tramuntana to be used as a theme park by any particular group. For many years we have seen abuses and excesses in the Tramuntana, some of which are especially regrettable. Despite clearly defined speed limits and noise pollution regulations, the roads of the Tramuntana, especially at weekends, are often turned into a racetrack for powerful motorbikes which break the law and are detrimental to locals, tourists and wildlife alike. All this goes on without the Administration doing a single thing to avoid it. And we ask ourselves: How can it be that this is allowed? Who should be approached to seek an explanation? A similar thing occurs with the new phenomenon of helicopter tourism, which causes great harm to all kinds of birds, as well as unprecedented levels of sound pollution and even an intrusion into the privacy of many inhabitants. These are just two examples of the many abuses that are committed against the general interests of the Tramuntana and the island as a whole.
6. ORDINANCES TO REGULATE NON-HIKING RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Apart from traditional Mallorcan hiking and hiking tourism, the Tramuntana has to support an ever growing number of other recreational users such as: trail runners, mountain bikers, dog owners, canyoneers, climbers, speleologists, trial bikers, etc. And in many cases there are no clear guidelines to define, regulate and allow or limit these activities. We demand specific and concrete ordinances and regulations for each recreational activity, as well as the human and material resources to control them. These new uses of our countryside, must be compatible with the conservation of the values, the biodiversity and the identity of the Serra de Tramuntana. It must be understood that unlimited recreational pursuits are not possible in the Tramuntana.
7. SUPPORT FOR TRADITIONAL HIKING
Traditional Mallorcan hiking is one of the activities that has suffered most from the recent over-crowding of the Tramuntana. Mallorcan hiking used to be an activity which took place in harmony with the landowners and local customs. Sadly, the increase in unregulated recreational uses has caused great harm to traditional hiking in that many landowners have decided to limit or close the access to their land, arguing that they are only exercising their legitimate rights. The time has come to recognise the different needs and expectations of traditional hiking, touristic hiking and the other uses of the Tramuntana. We ask the administration to act urgently to safeguard traditional local hiking, allow for the growing market for hiking tourism and also to take into account the interests of the private landowners of the Tramuntana; to negotiate with the landowners and municipalities an extensive network of footpaths, taking in public paths, paths through public land, private paths with regulated public access and private paths with granted access. We demand a political pact to overcome the conflict between landowners and users that is so detrimental to both parts. The Tramuntana should be enjoyed harmoniously, once again, by those who show love, admiration, care and respect.
8. ADMINISTRATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENTS
Since 2010, the Mallorcan Serra de Tramuntana has had a special conservation status under three separate frameworks: the category of Natural Park, the Natura 2000 Network and the UNESCO designation as a World Heritage Site. Each of these comes with an administrative plan with clear guidelines and objectives to make the Tramuntana a sustainable natural and cultural landscape. Despite this, as of today, due to the lack of political will, the difficulties of coordination between the different administrative organs and insufficient material and human resources, these plans are being breached in a multitude of ways. Up till now, these designations have been used more as a tourist attraction than a guide to protect our environment. For this reason, what we ask from our politicians is that they take effective steps to activate these plans and unify the administration of the Tramuntana with a single organ that would be able to establish strategies and manage resources avoiding duplicities. This is the one and only way to finally make the change from protection on paper to conservation on the ground.
WE MUST RECOGNISE THAT WE ARE NOT MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY OF THE COMING ELECTIONS TO DEMAND THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE SERRA DE TRAMUNTANA SHOULD NOT BE EXPLOITED POLITICALLY. LET US DEMAND A PACT BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT POLITICAL PARTIES THAT CAN PUT ASIDE THEIR DIFFERENCES SO THAT OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN ARE ABLE TO ENJOY A TRAMUNTANA AS DIVERSE, HEALTHY AND RICH IN TRADITIONS AS WE AND OUR FOREFATHERS HAVE ENJOYED.
This manifesto has the support of over 170 people from many different areas of society and multiple standpoints. These people are united by their love and concern for the conservation of the environment and values of the Serra de Tramuntana, and are not committed in any way beyond the contents of this manifesto.
The initial group of supporters and promoters of this manifesto is made up of the following: