Sandra Benbeniste, lives with her husband, Jon izeta, in Santa Gertrudis. At 42 years of age and a life spent travelling the World, she feels Ibiza is now her home. Sandra is Executive Director of the Ibiza Preservation Fund, a nobel organisation established by William Aitken and Serena Cook in 2008. Her energies are currently channeled into an environmental initiative called, Alianza Mar Blava, a group of over seventy organisations, working together to achieve a common goal. The multi-lingual Catalonian, is a woman driven by passion, humanity and a sense of justice. She was born in Barcelona but was a frequent summer visitor to Ibiza with her family from an early age. The natural beauty of the island instilled a deep love of the sea within her soul and her role models were peacemakers. “ For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to fight for what is fair and right” recalls Sandra
She is non-political and universal in thinking “as human beings there is much more that unites us, than separates us. I believe, that putting energy into things that separate us is a mistake”. This ethos led Sandra into work with the United Nations in Mexico, helping to fight poverty and protecting Human rights. With a Masters degree in Law, she became Chairperson of the Fairtrade Organisation (FLO) in 2005, a position she held for three years. Early in her career, she spent time working at the European Parliament in Strasbourg and garnered knowledge in the arts of diplomacy. “In Ibiza for many years environmental issues were linked to the left. What we are trying with the Ibiza Preservation Fund, is to tell everybody that we should all defend the environment together – that it does not belong to one colour or the other”
It is this neutral, building bridges approach, that has allowed Sandra and a team of fellow minded individuals, to modernise a campaign that has successfully united the island in winning the fight against Cairn Energies oil drilling proposal in the Gulf Of Valencia. “To protect the island’s delicate ecosystem is always a battle, so we have a shared responsibility to protect Ibiza’s exceptional beauty and natural value. The quality of the sea, landscape and richness of the islands biodiversity, is very important and we must fight to preserve it”. One gets the welcoming sense that Ibiza has a strong and articulate defender of its fragile environment. A talented, energetic and warm person, who reflects the natural beauty of the island she strives to protect.