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Rollout of pilot compost collection programme in Sant Francesc

Foto rp materia organicaCiF environment councillor Daisee Aguilera, alongside heads of the Rezero foundation and the Leader group, Rosa García and Pep Martínez, respectively, presented a pilot programme for compost collection in Sant Francesc.

Fifty area establishments considered large-scale waste generators—bars, cafés, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, the Formentera hospital and a nursery school among them—will take part in the four-month trial, which began yesterday. Participants have been supplied with small, specially-designed bins that door-to-door collection crews will empty every evening.

According to Councillor Aguilera, organisers hope the endeavour will lead to collection of some 300 tonnes of organic waste, which will then be composted locally and used as fertiliser across Formentera fields. The €80,000 pilot programme, paid for primarily by the Formentera Council, will also receive €32,000 in funding from Leader.

Rezero, the waste-prevention firm heading up the project, has indicated the undertaking will mean savings of €60,000, the cost of shipping waste to Eivissa. Data from the trial phase will be used to study expansion of compost collection to other parts of the island.

Formentera bemoans delayed start of surveillance and help service for anchoring ships

The Formentera Council has called on the Palma administration's ministry of environment for an immediate rollout of a help and advisory service for crews of ships anchoring in the Ses Salines natural park, Es Caló and Cala Saona.

Formentera's head of environment, Daisee Aguilera, described this weekend's monitoring of more than 400 watercraft anchored across a handful of areas. A summary:
Between Pas des Trucadors (Ses Illetes) and La Savina port, roughly 250 boats were anchored.
Espalmador buoy field was at full capacity (57 boats on 57 buoys).
Es Caló de s'Oli was at capacity as well (15 boats).
Some 84 ships dropped anchor at Cala Saona while another seven were anchored at Es Caló.

Councillor Aguilera said the Council's call for a speedy activation of surveillance services was “absolutely justified” in view of “the sheer number of ships that are visiting the island”. She went on to say that this weekend, in both Ses Salines and Cala Saona, several ships were spotted dropping anchor on posidonia meadows.

While there is currently active surveillance of all watercraft parked across the buoy field, any ships that anchor away from the field in the rest of Ses Salines—as well as Es Caló and Cala Saona—remain unsupervised. The Council is eager to see the rollout of the anchoring assistance and advisory service, which commands 14 surveillance boats whose crews are responsible for safeguarding the UNESCO-recognised plant. As Aguilera summed up, “ratcheting up the surveillance doesn't do any good if it comes too late”.

Nevertheless, the councillor's message for rule-abiding visitors to Formentera's shores was one of thanks. “With each passing year, people—and ship captains—become more sensitive to our cause and more inclined to heed the ban on anchoring on posidonia meadows”.

Formentera celebrates World Environment Day with diving tours of posidonia meadows

Posi 050617An exploratory dive of Formentera's marine depths and the natural treasures that teem within—plus a lesson about the invaluable posidonia seagrass—was an honour reserved for the pupils of the primary school in el Pilar de la Mola. As part of World Environment Day, Formentera has embarked on a plan to send 120 local students on snorkel tours of Ses Salines park.

Besides diving, Formentera youth will get a look at “El primer viatge” (The maiden journey). It's the latest instalment of a collection entitled “Els secrets i les aventures de Posi” (The secrets and adventures of Posi), which began with last year's “Posi té un do” (Posi's gift). Led by the professional staff of Vell Marí dive centre, the initiative is powered by Fundació La Caixa (€2,635), the Formentera Council (€1,700) and a three euro contribution from each participant. Each pupil will take home a copy of the storybook.

Future excursions are planned for June 8, 9 and 12. The activity is an offshoot of “Save Posidonia Project”, a Council-backed initiative to spread awareness about the important role played by the native seagrass. Posidonia, an underwater plant species and classified World Heritage Site, faces threats in the form of improper anchoring, untreated sewage spills and climate change, among other perils.

Tour of reforested area of Espalmador
When a carelessly tossed flare sparked a blaze on Espalmador last year, the Balearic ministry of environment responded with reforesting efforts. Now, guided tours offer a close-up look of the island's rehabilitated areas.

On Sunday, June 11, a public tour will set out from the western dock of la Savina harbour, next to the port building. Barca Bahia has offered up its resources so that anyone interested in discovering Espalmador can join in.

Starting out at 11.45am, the tour's guides pledge to have passengers back by 4.15pm and to la Savina by 5.00pm. For their part, organisers of Qué Celeste Festival will host their own event: a talk about the dangers posed by rubbish in the sea followed by a short beach cleanup. Visit the Office of Environment in Sant Ferran or contact the office by telephone (971321210) or e-mail ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Formentera rolls out app empowering islanders to report streetside concerns

Liniaverda 010617Daisee Aguilera and Rafa Gonzàlez, chiefs of the Formentera Council's Offices of Environment and Infrastructure, respectively, oversaw the official public rollout of a new mobile app, Línea Verde, the latest in the Council's arsenal of tools to enlist the local community's involvement in green issues and care for the island.

The app, explained Gonzàlez, “allows users to signal waste which has been improperly disposed of or street furniture in disrepair”.

Available via Google Play and Apple Store, the app lets users select from a variety of options when documenting black spots—at waste bins, streetlighting or street furniture, for example—and flag them on a map. Users can add comments and even attach photographs.

Snags chronicled on the platform are forwarded directly to municipal crews, cleaning service subcontractors and waste collection companies so they can be acted on. As Councillor Aguilera pointed out, the new app has been under trial since November. Over those six months, Council staff and participating users communicated 560 issues, 36% of which concerned rubbish bins.

Last year in a plenary meeting, members of the Formentera Council unanimously adopted a plan to offer islanders the app as a tool to communicate incidents directly.

Lawmakers seek input on posidonia legislation

Reunio decret posidoniaEnvironment councillor Daisee Aguilera sat down with representatives from the other Balearic Island Councils and the region's department of environment, agriculture and fishing to discuss a draft decree on posidonia seagrass. In attendance at the tête-à-tête were regional minister Vicenç Vidal and director general of the Balearic office of natural spaces and biodiversity, Miquel Mir.

Applauding the Govern's initiative in seeking input from the councils and other sectors, Aguilera underscored the significance of the decree's “clearly-worded ban of anchoring on posidonia meadows”. Formentera's head of environment voiced her hope the Govern would “include up-to-date maps as part of the new decree, thus equipping crews with explicit information about where they can and cannot drop anchor”. Aguilera said clear.cut information was “the most important tool in preventing damage to the seagrass,” a feeling her opposite numbers echoed.

The Govern plans to unveil the decree and convene a community discussion to involve Formentera residents in the current process. That input session, still to be determined, is expected to take place in two weeks.

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