Mallorca, The Balearic Islands, Spain 

Mallorca’s ecological balance and social cohesion are severely threatened by over-tourism and climate change. Many of Mallorca’s native species are facing existential challenges from ecological changes, such as warming seas. The boom in land speculation from tourism has also caused a rapid increase in land and housing prices, negatively affecting local communities. There is growing recognition of the need to regenerate the island’s land- and seascapes and tackle negative socio-economic trends resulting from human activities. 

It is in this environment that the first regenerative business ideas are starting to emerge in Mallorca. There is a promising revival of young organic farmers. However, many more have abandoned agriculture, as they find it too challenging to access land and navigate a highly bureaucratic system. The average age of farmers in Mallorca is well over 60. 

The Aliança Mar i Terra di Mallorca (Mallorca Land and Sea Alliance) was formed in 2022 by a consortium of local organisations facing similar challenges who decided to work towards aligned objectives together, rather than alone. The marine challenges that Mallorca faces are very much related to what is happening on land; building bridges between sea and land organisations is thus an important objective of the alliance. Support from Commonland as of 2022 enabled the alliance to start working together formally. They started to join up efforts and share resources and know-how to find common strategies to become more resilient and tackle new challenges together. 

Vision 

The Aliança Mar i Terra di Mallorca aims to support the regeneration of regional land and sea habitats on the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea. They envision a more balanced socioeconomic system where the community is more connected and helps to co-create more biodiverse, thriving local ecosystems. They seek to rebuild a local economy with a healthy agroecosystem that can provide a significant percentage of the community’s food and resources. 

Challenges:  

  • Sustainable water, energy and waste management 
  • Climate change happens at a rate 20% higher in the Mediterranean than elsewhere in the world 
  • Extreme pressure from (mass) tourism on land, natural resources, local culture, and the economy 
  • Lack of collaboration and coordination among 3rd sector organisations on the island despite all striving towards similar goals 
  • Lack of human and flexible (process-based) financial resources to enable the coordination and partnership building required to upscale the Alliance’s collective impact 

Opportunities:  

  • Restore land and seascapes holistically as interconnected systems, ending industry silos that currently reduce impact. 
  • Create a clear, long-term landscape vision that enables Mallorca to shift and diversify its economic model to the benefit of local communities and nature alike. 
  • Develop new regenerative business models that bring revenues to local communities, including new eco-tourism models that involve outsiders in supporting landscape restoration. 
  • Create greater impact through the Alliance – collaboration allows for synergies between different organisational projects and greater resilience to collective obstacles.  
  • Hotspot area in North Mallorca where many of the Alliance organisations are working could become a focal/entry point for attracting resources and achieving greater impact. 
  • The education and stewardship efforts of the organizations are already very strong and can be linked to physical places with active ongoing projects. 
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