210 kilometres of shoreline, 53 beaches and 570 square kilometres of land, are the natural statistics of the beautiful land of Ibiza, the most western Island of the Mediterranean sea. In the 2001 census, the Island had a resident population of 88,000 people. In 2010 that had grown to 133,000 and recent reports suggest, that it is heading for well over 150,000 inhabitants next year. Each summer season, the little Island comes under tremendous strain and pressure, as it tries to cope with the extra, 6,000,000 tourists, that flock to the increasingly popular Balearic holiday destination. At present, the Islands infrastructure is buckling under the sheer weight of the huge environmental and social problems, that increased mass tourism brings with it. The Island will soon have to take a long, hard look, at what damage the tourist industry is having on the natural and environmental health of its land.

Posidonia Sea Beds of Ibiza

Sewerage drains are overflowing, water resources are been depleted, and the waste and rubbish that the mass influx of tourists bring each summer is increasing. More building of concrete holiday homes and apartments are adding to the problems.  It is now said, that drilling for water in Ibiza now takes longer and deeper holes to find its depleting water level. That the sea around some of the Islands most beautiful beaches, is becoming  polluted with sewerage waste, as it has nowhere else to go. That the carbon footprint of what was once a pristine and pure natural environment, is increasing at an alarming rate, due to the importation of commercial product associated with the tourist market. That building projects in previously untouched and pristine natural areas, once considered sacrosanct, are now being planned. That the super yachts continue to damage the sea bed fields of Posidonia, that are responsible for keeping Ibiza’s waters alive and crystal clear.

Building In Protected Areas

As tourists and people that love the Island for what it is, we have to start taking a small bit of responsibility and stop and think for a second, to ask the simple questions like, where does all the sewerage go? What happens to the waste? How long can natural water reserves last and….. are we damaging the Island to a point of no return? If we do not start asking these questions of ourselves now, then in future years, Ibiza as we know it, may sink and drown under the weight of commercial gain and greed. Like the Banking and Economic collapse of Europe, the tourist bubble of Ibiza, in my opinion, is in danger of bursting with serious environmental consequences, unless measures are taken now to address the situation. Always put in context, that Ibiza is only a small Island and like all things beautiful, it is fragile and vulnerable. If the real Ibiza dies, then the Island will loose its magic and become like any other mass tourist resort, bereft of soul, character or personality. Like all things in life, balance is the key. I love the dual personalities of Ibiza, but the weighing scales are now in danger of becoming unbalanced. It is now time for both sides to seriously address the situation and start answering the hard questions before Ibiza looses its unique identity.