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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Environment

Formentera to islanders: ‘Report caterpillar nests found on property’

processiona--riajjjPer article 19 of a piece of legislation known as Healthy Vegetation Act 43/2002, the Formentera environment office wishes to remind islanders of their duty to report any pine processionary nests they discover and maintain wooded areas on their property in healthy conditions. Recently, the Healthy Forests Service of the Balearic Islands’ Natural Spaces and Biodiversity Section used a specially adapted helicopter to tackle the pine processionary plague with aerial dustings of the biological agent Bacillus thuringiensis.

Environment councillor Antonio J. Sanz held it up as “a particularly important measure” and reminded landowners on the island that they are responsible for removing nests or contacting the environment office should doing so prove impossible.

The caterpillars’ winter march towards untreated corners of the island is visible in dry leaves at the tips of branches and the pests’ formation into nests to stay warm. The pine processionary feeds on the leaves of white pines, reaping grave damage if the feedings become intense or frequent enough, or if the affected trees are in a weakened state. Bearing this last point in mind is particularly important, since the pest can become highly problematic for pine groves.

The environment arm of the Consell de Formentera and the Balearic Healthy Forests’ Service wish to remind islanders:

1.- Report any detected pine processionary caterpillars, including location and number of nests, to the authorities. This can be done on the Linea Verde app, online, or in person at the Department of Environment.

2.- Any detected nests should be destroyed.

3.- The best way to stem the pine processionary’s spread is by cutting loose its nests and incinerating them.

4.- Protective measures (wearing long-sleeved shirts, gloves and protective goggles) are recommended to make sure the caterpillar’s irritating hairs don’t affect the person doing the cutting.

5.- Remember that the caterpillar’s hairs can came come off in the wind (or when a nest is cut loose) and cause rashes or allergic reactions if they come in contact with skin. Hence, individuals are encouraged to cut the nests with one’s back to oncoming wind.

6.- Nests that are removed should be incinerated one by one, far from forested areas to keep the rist of fire to a minimum.

7.- The caterpillars can also be destroyed by squashing them mechanically or shooting at them with a firearm. In the latter case, the operator of the gun must possess a hunting permit and meet other regulations concerning open hunting and special seasonal guidelines (as posted in issue 91 of the Balearic gazette of 6 July 2019).

For more information visit the Healthy Forests’ Service website at http://sanitatforestal.caib.es, call the office at 971 17 66 66 or send them an email (sanitatforestal@caib.es). Islanders can alternately visit Formentera’s environment office (in Sant Ferran at Carrer Mallorca, 15), telephone the office at 971 32 12 10 (extension 1) or email mediambient@conselldeformentera.cat.

13 January 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Formentera.eco named best sustainable tourism initiative

premi-turisme-sosteniblejpThe Consell de Formentera scheme formentera.eco to cap permits for in-bound vehicles has won the award for best sustainable tourism initiative. Mobility councillor Rafael González received the honours at the Nit de Turisme gala held last night on Menorca.

González explained that “for the first time, with formentera.eco, we’re regulating which vehicles are being brought and driven on the island. The goal is simple: to preserve the land and Formentera’s very tranquility by tackling saturation on local roads”.

The initiative grew out of the request of one resident, and is driven by two main goals. González described the first as “delivering a quality of life improvement for locals”. The second? “Visitor satisfaction”, he said, “so, whether someone comes in May or August, they’ll find the island they’re looking for”.

“In the first year we got what we set out to achieve—fewer cars on local roads in the high season, and more people using public transport or cycling”. Feats like those, “and distinctions like this one”, the mobility chief professed, “are motivation to keep pushing forward in the years ahead”.

2019 marks the fourth straight year that the best sustainable initiative prize is given to a Formentera project; a plan to promote the recovery of the local countryside won the accolades in 2016, followed by Save Posidonia Project in 2017 and Posidonia maps in 2018. Regional first minister Francina Armengol, Balearic economic model, tourism and employment minister Iago Negueruela, Menorca president Susana Mora and other regional authorities attended the ceremony as well.

11 December 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Formentera plays host to first gathering of commission on water this legislative term

foto-juntaaiguesjpThe environment and rural offices of the Consell de Formentera report that this afternoon, following a call from the Balearic government, members of the Island Waters Junta (Junta Insular d'Aigües) met for their first gathering of the legislative term.

Regional environment and territory minister, Miquel Mir, and the director-general of water resources, Joana Garau, chaired the meeting, which also saw the attendance of local environment and rural councillors Antonio J Sanz and Josep Marí as well as representatives from environmental groups, farmers and users of local irrigation and urban water grids.

Garau gave attendees an overview of the first part of a modified Balearic Water Plan (PHIB) for 2021-2027. Minister Garau pointed out that the document is currently available for public viewing, and encouraged administrations, industry actors and regular islanders to review it.

“Responsibility here cuts across the different administrations that are involved” said Garau, “and we can’t just be talking about the quantity of dessalinated water on each island —and Formentera’s no isolated case— but whether we can be storing it to satisfy local water needs throughout the year”.

For his part, Conseller Sanz said he hoped the gathering would facilitate discussion around “issues at both the dessalination plant and irrigation pond, so our two sister administrations can get to work finding solutions”.

4 December 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

In summer 2019, Formentera upped glass recycling by 23%

ecovidriovj1The environment department of the Consell de Formentera reports that this summer, with the help of Ecovidrio's Moviment Banderes Verdes (“Green Flags Movement"), drop-offs of glass recyclables marked a 23% increase, putting total green-bin collections at 582 tonnes. The figures put Formentera third in the Balearics for glass recycling, and reflect the efforts of the 124 local businesses which took part in the measure. Green collection bins were delivered to participating establishments—some had never participated in glass recycling before; others, seasoned recyclers, saw their container swapped for a newer model. Smaller, specially-designed recycling bins were distributed to hotels.

According to Ecovidrio, the glass-recycling efforts of islanders were equivalent to keeping 337 tonnes of CO2 from escaping into the atmosphere—or 158 cars parked for a year. Or, by another metric, the 415MW-per-hour in energy savings might be translated as keeping 698 tonnes of raw materials in the ground. Environment conseller Antonio J Sanz trumpeted the figures, pointing out “it's as if the hospital cut its yearly energy consumption in half". “This kind of recognition is important", quipped Sanz, who said the numbers were in line with other increases —of 33%— in overall recycling.

Balearic Green Flags Movement
In the Balearics, drop-off rates at green containers are up 11.7% since last year. All told, 11,020 tonnes of glass were collected across the 22 coastal towns that took part in the initiative, putting the reduction of CO2 emissions at 6,391 tonnes.

30 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Organic waste collection up 29.98% since last year

residus-orga--nicsv2Formentera’s environment office reports that the amount of organic waste collected in 2019 marks an 29.98% increase on the same figure in 2018. A total of 704.17 tonnes were picked up over the five months from 15 May to 15 October, compared to 541.77 tonnes the previous year.

Organic waste collection among restaurants and other local businesses began with a 2017 trial run that netted 100 tonnes. This year the network of establishments benefitting from door-to-door pick-up has grown to 170. Participants even have at their disposition an environmental advisory agent, or zelador, from the Consell’s environment office.

Environment councillor Antonio J Sanz hailed the news and thanked participating businesses “for everything they’ve brought to the table”.

Councillor Sanz pointed out that, in 2019, between the figures for collected organic waste and recyclables such glass, plastics, paper and cardboard, the Consell de Formentera “is getting closer to our goal of recycling half of all the island’s waste that was outlined in legislation passed in August 2019 on hazardous materials and soils”. Recyclables currently account for 33.78% of total waste collection, a four-point increase since a year ago.

The figures from the environment department show that, including September, solid waste collection in urban parts of the island was at 5,617.42 tonnes; paper and cardboard collection reached 805,07 tonnes; plastics 561.94, glass 661.88 and organic waste 661.88. Collection rates were highest in August (1,637 tonnes), followed by July (1,528) and June (1,271.76). The low came in January, when total collection dropped to 363.82.

21 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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