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Council and IBANAT take on pine processionary

Foto treballador forestal. Autor Baide 22.16.00Together with the Govern Balear, the Formentera Council (CiF) is behind a new push to curb the spread of the pine processionary caterpillar on Formentera. Councillor Daisee Aguilera, who oversees the CiF department of environment, noted that starting yesterday, January 13th, Council crews began to look for nests of the insect in the area it is most common: Es Cap de Barbaria.

Manual or mechanical drives

«We’ve contracted two forest service specialists who will be on the island for the next two weeks to attend to the problems the species is causing. What’s more», Aguilera continued, «the Council is coordinating a volunteer group that will remove the insects’ nests by hand (in lower branches) and machine (in high branches)». Aguilera’s office has also enlisted the Es Cap hunters’ club to shoot at nests located in the high top branches of pine trees. The office of the environment has purchased 2,500 cartridges at a cost of €600 and intends to begin that phase of the process between this week and next, depending on weather. The councillor added: «If anyone else wants to join either volunteer group, or if other residents have affected pine trees on their property, please contact the department of environment for assistance».

IBANAT's work

For its part, the Balearic Nature Institute (IBANAT for its acronym in Catalan), a branch of the regional ministry of environment, agriculture and fishing of the Govern Balear, has coordinated several different actions on Formentera to attack flare-ups in caterpillar numbers.

Since Tuesday January 12th and for another two weeks, IBANAT personnel will provide technical advising to CiF staff, cutting down and burning the nests they find in the Es Cap area. Council officials said the partnership can later be extended beyond two weeks if need be.

Council removes 11 abandoned boats from Formentera coastline

Embarcacions retirades foto

The office of the environment of the Formentera Council has removed 11 watercraft including skiffs and flotation devices abandoned along the waterline in Estany des Peix (3) and Es Caló (8). Councillor Daisee Aguilera, head of the office, explained not only were the boats eyesores and lacking any identifying information, «they had been left on the public shoreline, which is prohibited by Formentera’s regulatory code concerning use of beaches and swimming areas».

ID’ing the boats

A watchman employed by the CiF environment office spotted seven of the craft last 21 September. At that time, Aguilera said, decals were affixed that notified owners they had one month to move the boats from public land before the Council took action and sent them to the dump.

«Since no one came forward», Aguilera explained, «the Council went ahead with removing the boats. A notice was then published to inform owners they had 15 business days to claim their property, if they paid all removal costs and dump fees». Left once again with any response, the Council proceeded to the decontamination and scrapping of the abandoned property.

Aguilera noted the same process has occurred with four other abandoned watercraft, two in the Estany des Peix area and two in Es Caló, discovered on 28 and 30 October. After the cut-off date of Wednesday 13 January, the craft will be sent to the scrapyard.

Council asks for “long overdue” solutions to perennial problems facing electricity supply

foto consell premsa

Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer announced earlier today his intent to send a letter to the regional minister of land, energy and transport, Joan Boned and director general of Endesa's Balearic office, Ernesto Bonín, to express Formentera's collective anger about the electricity problems that have plagued the island. Ferrer said he will demand a suitable electricity service, “long overdue here on the island”.

The president voiced his frustration at “the abundance of service interruptions, excessively long and without notice, that affect so many here on the island”. The fact the most recent occurrence came in January - when use is low and no electrical storms have hit the island - “makes the occurrence even harder to accept”.

Ferrer noted that Formentera's different political parties have come together on the questions facing the island's electricity supply and modernising the Es Ca Marí power station: “This is something that was ignored by the Bauzà administration and has been on the new government's agenda since day one”.

He noted that “Minister Boned visited the island's electricity plant in September and confirmed our requests are fully justified”.

Turning to Endesa for answers

On the responsibility borne by Endesa, Ferrer said: “Putting to one side any problems with the system of supply itself, there is also a very clear issue with regard to the company's attitude. Endesa has got thousands of customers on Formentera – including the Council – that are paying for a service. However, they've got no information point on the island. The only way for customers to get in touch with the company is by telephone and finding additional information is difficult”.

During the power interruption, Daisee Aguilera, the CiF councillor of the environment and energy, contacted the Spanish electricity network (Red Eléctrica Española) and was informed no part of the national infrastructure had malfunctioned. The councillor called the regional ministry in Palma as well as the Endesa company. At 10:45 that evening the latter confirmed two cuts in electricity had been registered on the same power line, though they were unable to provide detailed information about the location. During that time the Council posted all of the information on its social networks as it was received.

The president called on Formentera residents affected by the power outage to “stand up for their rights the same way Endesa does every month at billing time” and, for any homes that would like to file a claim with the company, provided their toll-free customer support number: 800760909.

'100% renewable'—new documentary on Eivissa and Formentera to hit cinema next Tuesday

renovablesA documentary called Ibiza y Formentera 100% renovables (or, rendered in English, “Eivissa and Formentera, 100% renewable”) will be screened at the local cinema on Tuesday December 15 at 8.00pm. Environment secretary Daisee Aguilera thanked Miguel Ángel Villagrasa, Ulises Petinto and Fani Alonso, who are not only the founders of the nonprofit Camarógrafos por el cambio (“Photographers for change”—TN), but also the film's creators, for bringing it to the island.

Ensuing discussion

The Formentera Council is contributing €800 to a production whose creators want audiences to ask the following question: “Is it possible to make Eivissa and Formentera 100% renewable?” After the screening participants of a roundtable discussion— including CiF environment secretary Daisee Aguilera, Fons de Preservació d'Eivissa's Sandra Benbeniste, Amics de la Terra's Jordi Salewski and members of the audience—will attempt an answer.

 

Class trip to new rubbish drop-off point

Visita deixalleria premsa

The Formentera Council's office of the environment has put together a field trip so that local pupils can get a first-hand look at the island's new waste drop-off centre. According to staff specialist Javier Asensio, who went along too, the visit is aimed at helping Formentera kids «learn how [the tip] works and see what garbage – when too big to fit in normal bins – must be brought here».

A total of 34 boys and girls from the Sant Ferran primary school got to see the inner workings of the drop-off centre. A previous field trip had provided a close-up look at the Formentera transfer station and the chance to see rubbish being weighed and compacted. In Asensio's words, the goal of today's visit was to raise awareness about where our waste ends up and the importance of recycling.

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