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This Monday 7 October, info session on the pine processionary on Formentera

cartell-procesionaria-2019-cop1The Consell de Formentera environment office reports that islanders are encouraged to attend an information session about the pine processionary on Formentera. Scheduled for Monday 7 October at 7.00pm in the Sala d’Actes, the gathering will be led by María Isidora Santiago, head of the healthy forests service of the natural spaces and biodiversity arm of the Balearic government.

The educational event is one part of the response to climbing pine processionary numbers on the island; another—currently due to start this October—includes a two-part aerial dusting of 1,500 hectares of local land, pending proper weather conditions and the caterpillars’ particular stage of development.

4 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera 

With third Fòrum Posidonia Project, Formentera stays on path to sustainability

foto-presentacio---spp1Consell de Formentera president and tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer, environment councillor Antonio J Sanz, and tourism promotions chief Carlos Bernús gathered in the government’s Sala d’Actes to unveil the slate of programming to accompany Save Posidonia Project in 2019. In Ferrer’s words, the three-day event, which kicks off 10 October, was conceived as a way to “turn the island into a place where ideas are exchanged—and that’s recognised as an eco-friendly destination, leading the charge towards sustainability”.

Ferrer pointed out that Save Posidonia Project launched in 2017—Year of Sustainable Tourism—and that its two founding pillars haven’t changed: “educating people about the importance of protecting posidonia and our surroundings, and raising money through square-metre sponsorship to fund conservation”.

The president hailed the generosity of islanders and businesses in 2017, when 132,656 square metres of seagrass meadows were “adopted” and funding was raised for two protection-tuned projects: one with the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (Imedea) and another with the Nature Study Group and Balearic Ornithology Group (GEN-GOB). To date, €222,319 has been raised under the initiative.

The project continues this year, first with celebrations around the 20-year anniversary of nearby Posidonia oceanica meadows’ classing as a Unesco World Heritage Site, and culminating on 11 October with the III Fòrum Posidonia Project. Plus, new this year, panel discussions with the local business community have been organised with the help of a range of organisations and NGOs.

New call for projects

Councillor Sanz offered that conservation projects would remain the focus of fundraising. This year is the forum's third, although it's only the second year that organisers have solicited project proposals. Funding from adopted square metres of posidonia currently stands at roughly ninety thousand—“a figure we hope will increase after the Fòrum”, said Sanz.

“Hopefully, with this new call for projects will translate into real protections for posidonia, and for the environment in general”, the councillor said. He pointed out that proposals in the first edition focused on direct change, but said attendees could expect to see indirect change—think individuals’ day-to-day carbon footprint—come up at this year’s gathering.

Some fifty journalists from six different countries will be covering the event, which chief of tourism promotions Carlos Bernús cast as about “making sustainability a pillar of our appeal to visitors”. The Fòrum runs parallel to other Discover Formentera events, which will appear chronicled in the outlets of visiting Spanish and international journalists—“who will see that now’s a good time to visit the island”.

Fòrum Save Posidonia

Thursday 10 October:
Work tables will be held with staff from the local and regional governments, Formentera businesses, civil society and NGOs, to explore areas like water, waste, plastics, land and maritime mobility, the energy transition and posidonia. The debate and reflections that emanating from the first day will serve to articulate an overview of new challenges and a commitment to make improvements moving forwards.

Friday 11 October:
The second day of programming is open to the public, and attendees will get a look at their companions’ efforts from the day before, not to mention a refresher of some of the projects which received funding in 2017. There will also be talks, documentary screenings and round-table discussions. The Fòrum on this day will take place at plaça de la Constitució

The programme can be found online at www.saveposidoniaproject.org/forum-posidonia-2019/.

Saturday 12 October:
The final day will include a boat ride to visit posidonia meadows and children’s workshops. Activities will unfold in the centre of Sant Francesc.

2 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

This Saturday, Formentera celebrates World Cleanup Day at Estany des Peix

cartel-world-cleanup-day-1The Department of Environment of the Consell de Formentera reports that the local celebration of World Cleanup Day promoted by Plastic-Free Formentera and Qué Celeste with support from the Consell happens this Saturday, 21 September.

Volunteers for a cleanup of Estany des Peix will meet at 10.00am at the Nautical Sports Centre (Centre d'Esports Nàutics). Besides getting information on recycling at two educational stands, participants will get the low-down on the day's agenda before splitting off into teams of 10 to 15 and heading to nearby locations like Lago Dorado, ses Bassetes and stretches of coastline by the harbour and in Can Marroig and la Savina. Formentera Divers will join in too, combing the water—both the surface and further down—for debris.

The effort has the support of the Department of Environment, which collaborated on logistics, event planning and permits. The Consell additionally coordinates disposal of found objects, bags and other waste.

Call for local participants

All those interested should contact plasticfreeformentera@gmail.com. That group and Qué Celeste have called on islanders to “become part of a massive movement and help shape consciousness around the environmental impacts of our waste management crisis”.

World Cleanup Day began in 2008 in Estonia when fifty thousand people cleaned the country in just five hours. The model has since traveled the globe, becoming one of the fastest-growing popular movements ever.

18 September 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell launches programme encouraging islanders to repurpose pallets

reutilitzacio---palets--1--2-The environmental department of the Consell de Formentera has rolled out a programme offering free wood pallets at the island's rubbish drop-off spot, the Deixalleria. Formentera residents can take advantage of the offer by signing up at the Deixalleria directly.

Pallets were previously sent to the local transfer plant to be shredded and shipped to Eivissa, a service paid for by the Consell de Formentera at a cost of €171/tonne. More than one hundred 25-kilo pallets are already at the Deixalleria, with each one accounting for €4.25 in savings—enough to keep the lights on in a middle-sized Formentera home for three months.

The prospects were trumpeted by environment councillor Antonio J Sanz, who pointed out the measure is Formentera also in tune with reuse and disposal regulations in place in Europe, Spain and the Balearics.

All interested can stop by a dropoff and pickup point at the Deixalleria. Conditions apply: pallets can't be re-sold; they should be used sensibly, and in respect of local environmental regulations. It is prohibited to burn pallets that have been painted or varnished. The Consell reserves the right to reclaim pallets from individuals in breach of guidelines.

17 September 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Summer campers take Earth-smart message to street

escola-estiu-medi-ambient--2-1Setting up a tent and information stands at plaça de la Constitució in Sant Francesc, about one hundred 6- to 12-year-olds from the Consell de Formentera's three summer camps, or Escoles d'Estiu, staged a day of outreach and environmental awareness-building.

Kids canvassed the square, giving businesses, residents and tourists pamplets highlighting the importance of caring for the planet. The young eco-champions displayed bottles with cigarette butts and microplastics that had been combed from local beaches by Plastic-Free Formentera.

The youth decorated posters with messages calling to cut pollution, turbocharge recycling measures and pursue robust environmental action.

Councillor of youth Vanessa Parellada tied the initiative to this year's theme at the Escoles, 'Breathe the Island'. “We're using footfall in the square to create a megaphone for the effort to ditch plastics, boost recycling and slash our current rates of waste generation”, she said. “Youngsters will take over captaining this ship pretty soon, and everyone has a to play in making Formentera a better place.”

16 August 2019
Communication Department
Consell de Formentera

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Balears Life Posidonia