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Environment

Ses Salines park logs increased vehicle entries in off season

mobilitat sostenibleThe Formentera Council has reported that from mid May to October 2 the ses Salines park registered entry of 76,415 vehicles not belonging to Formentera residents into the natural reserve, a 6,916-vehicle increase on 2015 figures. Likewise, they reported 145,108 non-resident scooters, an increment of 19,986 compared to last year. CiF environment councillor Daisee Aguilera said the biggest change was seen before and after the high season, an indication of improved occupancy rates in May and September. The councillor also asserted that a rise was seen in parking space turnover rates during the heart of the summer season.

The company that oversees vehicle entry into ses Salines, Ibifor, collected €878,108, growth of €62,124 compared to 2015. Of that sum the Council will receive €140,000 plus €78,175, a portion which is based on exact entry figures. The money is reinvested in park maintenance, which includes signage and path maintenance, installation of new signs and a tailor-made road cleaning and waste collection service. This year that service was staffed with an additional employee to steward care of the park's image and outreach around environmental issues.

In total, there is parking for 384 cars and 1,132 scooters at Formentera's part of the ses Salines park. This year was the first time officials banned entry of quad bikes to minimise impact and boost conservation efforts within the park. Furthermore, entry to the park by municipal and private buses was regulated to tackle rush hour traffic slowdowns. Heavy-load vehicles carrying products to area restaurants also saw their access restricted during peak hours.

Toilets and shade
Moreover, this summer Ibifor installed four portable toilets adapted for use by disabled individuals at the park. The Council assumed costs related to cleaning costs.

In addition, the councillor signalled a drop in the fee the CiF pays to the coastal authority, Demarcació de Costes, in return for permission to occupy the car park areas. The Council will also undertake the progressive installation of shade-providing structures for parked vehicles.

Palm trees must be treated in October, November

foto tractament becutThis morning the Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture has issued a reminder that preventive treatment of Formentera palm trees, with authorised phytosanitary products, is recommended in October and November.

During these two months a spike takes place in the flight of the red palm weevil, a pest which affects local palm trees. “Adults of the species leave already hard-hit trees in search of new food sources” explained staff specialist Laura Pérez, “which is to say, healthy palm trees yet to be colonised”.

Furthermore, the administration reminds island residents of the current ban on the pruning of palm trees. Pruning is only authorised during the coldest months of the year and the exact dates of this year's open period have yet to be determined. For more information, contact the Office of Agriculture of the Formentera Council.

Formentera Council distributes free recycling bags

foto entrega bosses reciclablesThe Formentera Council's Office of Environment reported today on a 255.8-tonne spike in waste generated on the island during the January-September period of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. “In terms of recyclable material, there was a slight increase in glass collected —67.38 tonnes more— followed by a smaller increment in plastics collection, which saw a 24.98-tonne increase. Paper and cardboard, however, experienced a lower collection figure — 13.34 tonnes lower”, explained environment councillor Daisee Aguilera.

From January to September (a period which includes both months) the rates of recycling held steady at about 23%, which are among the highest in the country. However, added Aguilera, that figure is very similar to last years'. To try and increase recycling rates as well as the reuse of reusable materials, to factors which have remained stagnant in recent years, the Formentera Council has acquired 3,000 packs of collection bags for plastics, paper and cardboard and glass.

Starting next Monday October 10 residents can collect their packs at the CiF Office of Environment, located at number 15, carrer Mallorca in Sant Ferran, Monday through Friday, 9.00am to 2.00pm. The packs will also be handed out to users of the Deixalleria, the local household waste collection centre, at the Sant Francesc industrial park, Monday through Saturday, 9.00am to 1.30pm, and Monday through Friday afternoons, 3.30 to 5.30pm.

Each pack includes three bags for glass, plastics and cardboard recycling. The environment councillors hopes the bid will “raise local awareness about recycling and help people recycle in a more ordered fashion”. The initiative carried a cost of €13,539.90. Bags will be distributed until none remain.

Recycling savings
Aguilera highlighted the cost of shipping unrecycled waste to Eivissa —€137 per tonne— plus the added cost of placement in the Ca Na Putxa rubbish tip — €30 per tonne. Hence, Formentera residents saved €310,910.58 by recycling 1,861.74 tonnes between January and September 2016. Recycled waste doesn't incur freight costs, because they are covered by the recycling companies themselves.

Greater involvement
In light of the fact that the summer season's end is approaching, Aguilera asked residents and big waste producers, who may be carrying out end-of-season cleanups, to be mindful and civic, and remember that large rubbish —and waste like paints, electronics, batteries and oils that requires special treatment— cannot be left at collection bins. “The island will be cleaner and we will significantly reduce the costs of treatment and collection if we are all conscious of proper waste management”, the councillor concluded.

Mehari pulled from la Mola precipice

netaja penya-segat 2In a report this morning the Formentera Council’s Office of Environment informed that 640 kg of scrap metal was lifted yesterday from the cliffs of la Mola. A cleanup day, organized by Colgados de Formentera and the Council, saw members of the association of rappel climbers successfully pull a Mehari car from a spot in the middle of the bluffs where it had sat for more than 25 years.

Other volunteers participated alongside the Colgados team in the cleanup, an event which was included in the programme of the town’s local festival, Festes del Pilar de la Mola. Three members of the Formentera fire brigade also helped slice the vehicle into smaller pieces, which made it possible to raise the chassis from its perch on the crag. The off-road compact SUV was ultimately transported to the local vehicle decontamination plant. Department chief Daisee Aguilera thanked all the participants for their efforts.

 

Formentera pushes for additional control of pine processionary

foto ple setembre 2016In plenary session today members of the Formentera Council voted unanimously to instate new measures to ensure enhanced control of the processionary pine caterpillar on Formentera. The move, explained CiF environment councillor Daisee Aguilera, would entail urging the Govern's environment ministry to push ahead in its current use of pheromone traps to curb Formentera's processionary pine numbers.

Aguilera said that the spike in captures of butterflies was behind the Council's call. Focusing on the hardest hit areas of the island, the administration hopes the Govern will push ahead with a phytosanitary treatment which includes use of an all-terrain vehicle in 2016 to distribute the biological agent Bacillus thuringiensis. Crews will also continue destroying processionary nests by hand and gunfire.

Finally, the CiF councillor asked the Govern for swift action in the process of issuing permits for aerial spraying of the Bacillus thuringiensis bio-agent. The decision has been backed by the environmental arm of the island's league of local association reps, Consell d'Entitats. As Aguilera noted, “this particular agent is biological and doesn't affect flora and fauna, unlike the chemical agent —diflubenzuron— that the previous administration of the Govern intended to use in 2014. Diflubenzuron did have effects on plant and animal life, which is why it was opposed by Formentera as a whole”. The councillor heralded the productive kinship that exists between the current Balearic and Formentera administrations in tackling the pest.

The Formentera Council has taken another step toward protecting the Mediterranean Sea from oil prospections, requesting the processing of a document on exploratory drilling ("Sondejos exploratoris des de la plataforma Casablanca: Rodaballo promogut per REPSOL"). Members of the plenary recognised and thanked Aliança Mar Blava for the group's tireless work.

Additionally, attendees of the plenary adopted a joint motion presented by the PSOE and GxF. The motion received support from the entire house with the exception of the PP, and was aimed at backing a campaign for women's right to safe abortions.

Statement before the plenary
The Council's infrastructure, transport and IT councillor, Rafael González, appeared before plenary members to discuss his offices' work until today and projects on the horizon this legislative session. The councillor delineated the goal he said will underpin initiatives in all three areas: “To make Formentera more sustainable and ensure a high quality of life for residents”.

In the area of transport, González invoked the island's recently debuted network of nature trails —dubbed the Rutes Verdes— which provide walkers and cyclists a means to easily and safely move about the island whilst enjoying the natural surroundings. He also spoke about the ongoing task of promoting electric vehicles on Formentera.

As for infrastructure projects, the councillor underscored the completion of the public works project along the es Pujols street carrer Aigua Dolça as well as the start of urbanising works on the road which leads to the Formentera Farmers' Co-operative and the household waste drop-off centre, la Deixalleria. Moreover, he pointed to the upcoming transformation of es Pujols' town centre and waterfront promenade, a new pump for the town and a bid to pedestrianise the northern stretch of carrer Fonoll Marí.

The councillor also spoke about the importance of listening to and complying with the voice of the people. Hence, he announced his offices would set aside €250,000 for what he called “participative budgets” during the current legislative session.

Lastly, González promised the Office of New Technologies would also work to “make things easier for residents by making it possible to do more administrative formalities online” and “facilitate access to online information about the Council and activities in leisure and tourism”.

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