To the rescue corals
Photo courtesy Iberostar
The hotel Hacienda Dominicus, an all-inclusive Iberostar located at the gate of the national Park del Este in the dominican Republic, will shortly be hosting scientists who will work in the conservation of coral reefs.
Anne Caroline Desplanques
Thursday, February 8, 2018 01:00
Thursday, February 8, 2018 01:00
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Madrid, Spain | scientists are preparing to settle in to some hotels in the Caribbean a very popular tourist quebecers in order to save the coral reefs critical to the survival of the beaches.
The chain of hotels the Spanish Iberostar is one of the first hoteliers in the world to embark on this adventure, after the luxury hotels the InterContinental. The Journal attended the launching of the project in Madrid.
Photo courtoisieSabina Fluxa, Iberostar
“We owe a lot to the oceans, and we want to give something back,” said the vice-president of the group, Sabina Fluxà.
Not less than 80 % of the 110 resorts, Iberostar is by the sea and generate a good part of 2 billion euros of annual turnover of the group.
Alone, Canadians represent 17 % of the clientele of the brand in the Caribbean and Mexico, 1.2 million tourists last year, and all, whether they are diving enthusiasts or not, take advantage of the coral reefs.
Reefs in danger
Reservoirs of biodiversity, the richest in the world, the reefs are home to 25 % of marine life in the world. They are also natural ramparts against the waves and hurricanes. Without them, the waves dévoreraient the beaches.
But, considering that about a quarter of the world’s coral reefs has already suffered irreversible damage, and that two-thirds are under serious threat “, according to the world wide Fund for nature (WWF).
In the Caribbean alone, the reefs could disappear completely in less than 20 years, according to the united Nations Program for environment (UNEP).
In the hope to reverse the trend, scientists are preparing to create nurseries of the coral sea, off the hotels of Iberostar. They settled first in La Romana, dominican Republic.
Their action will be to collect pieces of coral in the ocean, grow in a nursery, then transplanting them into the damaged areas of the reefs to the way gardeners sailors.
“It’s a bit like planting trees. There is reforestation, ” says Luis Mota, general manager strategy and finance at Iberostar.
Experienced the past few years, the technique has given positive results in the Great barrier reef in Australia and on the coast of Kenya where the world Bank and the united Nations to finance a project of reef restoration since 2014.
♦ This winter, 57 % of Quebecers take holidays, and 32 % of them will go in the South, the most for a week (37 %) in a hotel type all-inclusive (55 %), according to the most recent survey of intended travel of CAA-Quebec.
The construction of other hotels criticized
Madrid, Spain, While promoting the protection of the reef, Iberostar will continue to build its hotels ” in the first line of the beach “, a practice which is detrimental to corals.
The Spanish group has announced the acquisition of land in Mexico and Aruba, in the Caribbean, where he plans to build hotels all inclusive, the range is the most popular among the tourists from quebec.
However, the urbanisation of the coastline is a major cause of the disappearance of corals, ” said the French Initiative for coral reefs (IFRECOR), an organization that brings together scientists and decision-makers in the environment.
This practice results in “the erosion of the coasts, resulting in the smothering of reefs by the invasion of the sediment,” explains the IFRECOR.
The Spanish press does not lack to point Iberostar finger to his constructions the feet in the water.
The group has recently been mentioned in the case of Yate (el caso Yate), which involves 17 hotels of different banners built in the Spanish archipelago of the Canary islands.
The hotels covered are in violation of the coastal Act, which prohibited since 1988, the buildings within 100 m of the shore, Spanish, in order to protect the sea and the coast of the urbanization.
A year ago, the former mayor of Yaiza, on Lanzarote island, confessed to having accepted bribes to allow the construction of these hotels. He has been sentenced to six years in prison, but no formal charges have been filed against the hoteliers.
Asked about the protection of the coast, the chief of operations, Iberostar, Aurelio Vazquez, has assured the Newspaper that his group is still evidence of the “delicacy” with respect to the natural environments where it installs.
“For more than a decade, almost all of our hotels are certified by the leading environmental labels international “, he insisted.
♦ The Journal, was the guest of Iberostar in Madrid, Spain.