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Environment

With €112K in available funding, call for Save Posidonia Project proposals draws eleven contenders

foto 2020 SPPAfter the original call for ideas was pushed back on account of the pandemic, the Formentera Department of Environment reports that eleven submissions were received in response to a call for Save Posidonia Project proposals. Applicants will compete for up to €112,000—the amount that was raised prior to December 2019.

The announcement was made as part of remarks by environment chief Antonio J. Sanz during Posidonia Networks 2020, a virtual forum whose attendees include leading European experts on the environment and one which is backed by the Balearic Ministry of Environment and the French Office of Biodiversity.

During a presentation in which the local environment chief portrayed the Consell-backed SPP as an increasingly well-established initiative since its launch in 2017, Sanz said that belated start aside, the overall picture —25 proposals in two years— was positive. “In a short period of time SPP has proven itself to be an invaluable tool in shaping awareness at the local and government level”, he said.

Forum attendees are intimately familiar with policy in the Balearic Islands, which stand at the forefront of legislation on posidonia conservation. That familiarity isn’t just a product of the Balearic Islands’ pioneering service to monitor ships anchored on local coastlines and educate crews about moorage regulations; it’s also due to extensive educational pushes on Formentera.

A pioneer framework project in the western Mediterranean, SPP sprang from an impulse within the Consell de Formentera to promote sustainable tourism and raise money that could be exclusively devoted to conservation of Posidonia oceanica.

In its first year, SPP gave €83,822 to the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) and €48,836 to the environmental advocates at GEN-GOB.

1 October 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell pushes forestry service to continue dustings to stop pine processionary

Formentera’s conseller for the environment, Antonio J. Sanz, petitioned the Balearic chief of natural spaces and biodiversity, Llorenç Mas, to move forward with spraying aimed at stemming local spread of the pine processionary — a measure that won cross-party support in the July plenary assembly of the Consell de Formentera.

Sanz was on hand at a gathering hosted today by the regional ministry of environment and land to appraise islanders of this year’s projected resumption of aerial dusting and to take stock of efforts to control the species’ growth on the island.

Sanz applauded “Herculean efforts by the ministry in recent years to combat the pest” and held up findings indicating the pine processionary’s numbers were up: not only have municipal crews captured ever increasing moths in the summer, they have also logged growing numbers of the caterpillar’s nests in wintertime, registering colonies beyond the initial concentration in Es Cap de Barbaria.

The pine processionary has expanded into Porto-salè, Sant Ferran de ses Roques, Cala en Baster, Es Mal Pas, Migjorn and Tramuntana — “likely due to restrictions on aerial dustings in protected natural spaces, areas dedicated to beekeeping and organic farming, marshes and other land near the coast where 100-metre buffer zones have been necessary”, said Formentera’s environment chief.

Noting that the contract on the pine processionary control strategy is set to expire this year if no extension is awarded, Sanz called for funding to the tune of €200,000 to ensure the effort could continue in 2021 and beyond.

29 September 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Formentera saves nearly five hundred pallets from rubbish tip

foto 2020 paletsThe Formentera Department of Environment reports that 459 pallets have been repurposed since the 2019 launch of a programme encouraging islanders to reuse wood pallets from the local household waste recycling centre, or Deixalleria.

The first of its kind, the project aims to give new life to pallets at the transfer station that are bound for shredding and shipment to Eivissa—a service that the Consell de Formentera provides at a loss. It costs €171 to ship one tonne of 25-kilogram pallets to Formentera’s northern neighbour. To date the programme has brought savings totalling €1,950.

Environment chief Antonio J. Sanz highlighted the programme’s warm reception among islanders in the midst of the pandemic and lockdown measures. European, national and regional administrations require that local governments implement such initiatives to promote the reuse of materials and waste.

The free pallets can be picked up from the Deixalleria provided interested parties register and complete certain conditions, such as promising to use them sensibly and respect environmental regulations, and not resell pallets. It is expressly prohibited to burn pallets that have been chemically treated or painted. The Consell de Formentera reserves the right to reclaim any donated pallets if recipients break these rules.

18 September 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Info session on aerial spraying to curb pine processionary

The Consell de Formentera reports that at 11.00am tomorrow, Tuesday 29 September, the Healthy Forests Service of the Balearic Ministry of Environment and Land will host a video information session concerning the most recent in a series of dustings launched in 2017 to combat the pine processionary. Islanders interested in taking part in the session should send an email to sanitatforestal@caib.es.

Efforts to halt expansion of Thaumetopea pityocampa date to 2007 when the nuisance species was first detected on Formentera. One such strategy involves a biological phytosanitary product applied aerially in a treatment cycle that lasts four years. A helicopter equipped with an enhanced mode of the GPS system means the product, which is innocuous to bees and used in the treatment of other pests like mosquitos, can be released over pine groves in highly precise doses and according to fine-tuned extension parameters. Since 2017 treatment has involved double-dusting an area of Formentera covering 1,500 hectares. Timing of the dustings is calculated based on meteorological conditions such as temperature, wind, relative humidity and rain and the particular phase of development of the targetted larvae.

28 September 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell and Plastic Free Formentera rally participants ahead of Saturday’s World Cleanup Day

The Consell de Formentera is urging islanders taking part in World Cleanup Day 2020 on Saturday 19 September to opt for “micro-cleanups” that can be done individually or in groups of ten or under.

Organisers are reminding participants to heed Covid-19 recommendations such as wearing masks and gloves, social-distancing and limiting the group size of their cleanup endeavour.

The day starts at 9.00am and finishes eight hours later. Bags of litter should be disposed of at nearby waste containers. Bags and gloves are available at the Department of Environment, or Àrea de Medi Ambient, at number 15 on Carrer Mallorca in Sant Ferran, and the office is open Monday–Friday, 9.00am–2.00pm.

Cigarettes, fabric and wood and the like should be placed in standard rubbish bins. Participants who are eager to keep track of how much they’ve picked up can note the number and size of units filled (“three 10L bins” or “two 30L sacks”, for example) and include the information in an email to globalchangeibiza@gmail.com.

Details about cleanup efforts can also be shared on social media with the hashtags #worldcleanupday, #plasticfreeformentera and #formenteraillaneta.

Organisers of WCD 2020 are also highlighting the importance of virtually and digitally tidying up their electronic devices. Internet and the systems that support it represent approximately 3.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions, similar to the quantity produced by the air travel industry.

15 September 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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