By: Alejandro Borras, Iberostar Foundation Manager
One of the key elements that make our Wave of Change movement a driver for change is our scientific approach. Every decision and action we take is backed by scientific knowledge because we understand that it is the way for us to be consistent, transparent and rigorous.
A scientific approach is our way of executing each of the pillars of our Wave of Change movement. From the first moment we were in contact with different entities and institutions, both nationally and internationally, we made sure that they were driven by a commitment to the environment and, especially, to the ocean.
We paired this approach together with a special interest that has always been rooted in the heart of the company: support for the educational community with the aim of training, educating and raising awareness for future generations. So, in 2018, we forged a partnership with the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) and created the Iberostar del Mar Chair.
The objective of this chair is to boost the work of young researchers in the field of marine ecology and related fields of knowledge. Additionally, we will fulfill another essential objective by creating a space to study marine and environmental problems faced by the tourism industry and generating conversation surrounding this topic. This chair also gives us the opportunity to promote the sustainable use of marine resources and work to raise awareness on the importance of marine conservation.
In its first year, the Iberostar del Mar Chair awarded ten scholarships to students and young researchers at the University of the Balearic Islands in three categories:
- Aid for the exhibition of research papers of Final Degree (TFG) and Master (TFM).
- Help stimulate mobility aimed at doctoral students.
- Help create research projects aimed at doctoral students.
The winners of the scholarships for Final Degree Projects (TFG) and Master (TFM), in addition to the cash prize, had the opportunity to publicize the results of their research in different forums. Likewise, PhD students granted mobility stays in research centers to complete their projects related to the marine environment.
The Selection Committee was composed of representatives of UIB, Iberostar Group, the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies, the Balearic Oceanographic Center of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography and the Laboratory of Marine Research and Agriculture.
In 2020, eleven scholarships will be distributed again so students and young researchers can present their applications and we will expand the Chair’s scope of work by supporting a project on coastal health intended to be carried out on the island of Mallorca.
We believe in the need for an interaction between the scientific community and the industrial sector where the former develops knowledge and the industry applies and uses it in a rational way. We will continue betting firmly on the promotion of knowledge, as it is the tool that will help us to continue making the best decisions to lead responsible tourism.