The Fenix Project is a game-changing new concept from Greenheart Ibiza aimed at encouraging sustainable tourism to the island during off-peak seasons. The way it plans to do this is by using already established walking paths to organize a route, or pilgrimage of sorts, around the rural areas of Ibiza, linked by farm and country houses willing to open their doors to curious travellers. This presents a chance for those interested in getting in touch with their adventurous side to take part in a scenic walking or cycling holiday, whilst also helping to conserve and support local agriculture and their surroundings. At the moment the summer season dominates the economic, social and general life pace on the island, with many forced to work non-stop during high season only to close their businesses in winter. The strain that this puts on local businesses is coupled with the massive expansion in high-end establishments and superclubs to leave the island screaming for a more sustainable pace of life. The Fenix Project promotes a different type of tourism that can be enjoyed in the cooler months of the year, perfect for enjoying this kind of outdoor expedition. I recently wrote about my experience at eco-centre Casita Verde (another Greenheart project) with founder Chris Dews at hand to show me around. This was an overwhelmingly positive experience which introduced me to a group of people succeeding in living a simple, alternative lifestyle that puts protecting the planet at their forefront. Whilst there he was able to give me a first-hand account of the thought-process behind Fenix Ibiza,their aims and objectives.
“For me, Ibiza needs to choose a new direction. We need to have a very close look at how we wish to proceed during the coming years” Chris ponders. “Some politicians believe Ibiza should be an island for rich people and do not entertain the idea of bringing people here who would like to enjoy the nature without spending lots of money. However, I have a feeling that if we think about it carefully, we can have a wonderful economic system here, plus invite many young and older adventurous people to help us during the low season, when they can explore the island’s nature and actually add something of a different quality to the present tourist offer.”
Not willing to bury their heads in the sand and accept the negative developments on the island, their flagship “Fenix Ibiza” project tackles these issues head-on. Chris explains, “Our latest project ‘Ibiza Fènix’ (see http://greenheartibiza.org/ibiza-fenix), has been designed to invite volunteers to the island during the low season (October to May), so that they can help to restore the natural heritage of Ibiza, while enjoying local culture, staying in country houses and participating in educational workshops offered along special routes through natural parts of the island. This could be a promising alternative to our vulnerable and obviously unsustainable tourism offer of today. It will also enable the whole island to be directly involved in a more sustainable and more interactive economic model, which includes those who live in isolated areas, or who may have limited resources to improve their own sustainable initiatives.”
The name of the project seems aptly chosen, and the idea of rising from ashes to flourish to ones full potential is a concept we can all strive to achieve for our beloved island. If you want to get involved and help the Fenix fly then visit the Green Heart page above or connect with Casita Verde through their facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CasitaVerdeIbiza).