Menorca has a strong tradition of rural landscapes and agriculture activities. At present, this sector owns approximately 75% of the land but only contributes 3 or 4% of the economy. Menorca is home to an overwhelming diversity of Mediterranean habitats that host endemic plant and animal species exclusive to the island, some of which are in danger of being extinct. It also lies on an important bird migration route between Europe and Africa, which contributes to the variety of bird species one can see at different times of the year.
In 1993 Menorca was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Biosphere Reserves are declared where there exists an important natural and cultural heritage and where society has accepted an economic development model compatible with the conservation of nature. A reserve of the Biosphere is an agreement between man and his natural surroundings and as a Biosphere Reserve, Menorca is part of the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves, which is a UNESCO MAB Programme aiming to foster sustainable development on islands and coastal areas and promote adaptation and mitigation strategies on climate change.
As a result, Menorca has a strict landscape protection policy. However, there is still much work needed to support the local food production community and to make the most of our natural environments.
Over the past few years there has been a big impulse on the island to develop a model for sustainable farming and encourage the use on KM0 (local food) products. One of the main pillars of being a Biosphere Reserve is food production and therefore it is essential to create public policies, committed to the primary sector and which help us work towards a sustainable island.
Based on this, the Menorca Preservation Fund aims to support local organisations developing and improving their work on sustainable farming and local, organic food production, as well as supporting the diversification of the economic sector and placing strong support on local food as a key element to Menorca’s economy.