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Formentera's craft workers receive accreditation

Foto entrega diplomes artesansEarlier today, Jaume Ferrer and Alejandra Ferrer, the president and trade secretary of the Formentera Council, presented six local artisans with accreditation as artisans and one as master artisan.

As the secretary pointed out, currently, there are 80 individuals on the island with cards certifying them to work as artisans. Secretary Ferrer says that makes for better markets and puts craftspeople in a position to display and sell their work locally.

The “Artisan Card” (Carta Artesana) authorises its holder to vend in craft markets and attend specialist industry events. The “Master Artisan Card” (Carta de Mestre Artesà) certifies its holder has a minimum of ten years' experience in his or her speciality and is capable of offering classes on the subject.

Javier Álvarez de Lara received the Master Artisan Card as a specialist in dry-stone walls. Carolina Yuste and Mónica López received their Artisan Cards specialising in object decoration. Alba Maria Álbarez is now accredited to produce her handmade cloth dolls, or pepes, and Miguel Morey is qualified as a fine carpenter. Helena Maria Amaral and Maria Isabel Escandell obtained the Artisan Card too, the former as a leatherworker and the latter as a coppersmith.

Spain's Red Eléctrica adopts 6,000-sq.-m. stretch of posidonia meadows

Posidonia oceana-juan cuetosRed Eléctrica de España, which operates the country's electricity grid, has agreed to adopt 6,000 square metres (m2) of posidonia meadows, part of the Formentera Council-backed Save Posidonia Project. With their €6,000 donation, Red Eléctrica lend support to an initiative designed to fund posidonia conservation projects.

Tourism secretary Alejandra Ferrer applauded Red Eléctrica for helping the Council on a project originally created by the administration to highlight the year of sustainable tourism. The goal, said Ferrer, is to bring the message of sustainability across to tourists and residents to ensure that future generations can continue enjoying our island.

Sponsored so far: 89,349m2
Red Eléctrica's contribution brings the current total of protected posidonia meadows to over eighty-nine thousand square metres. Donations received from private citizens and businesses to November 1 will go to benefit projects designed to protect posidonia. Visit https://www.saveposidoniaproject.org/es/ to adopt one square metre for one euro.

Representatives of the company say that preserving posidonia is part of a broader commitment to sustainability, fighting climate change and promoting biodiversity. The operators of Spain's power grid and sole administrators of the country's transport network hold up their operations developing and servicing underwater power cables as a model to follow in protecting the plant, which is native to the Mediterranean and immensely important to the local ecosystem.

Together with IMEDEA, Red Eléctrica spearheaded a push to safeguard the underwater plant posidonia oceanica with a cutting-edge strategy to collect and sow posidonia seeds and cuttings in an effort to rehabilitate damaged meadows. The project ran from 2014 to 2016 in the bays of Santa Ponça on Mallorca and Talamanca on Eivissa and ultimately led researchers to determine the technical and financially viability of such efforts.

Company representatives said a partnership with the Govern balear's ministry of environment was behind the recent printing of thirty thousand pamphlets. The educational material is intended to raise awareness about proper anchorage and prevent damage to seagrass meadows or undersea power lines.

Save Posidonia Project festival: hundred plus activities to educate people, save seagrass meadows

Foto presentacio sppOfficials gathered today to unveil details about the Save Posidonia Project festival. Scheduled to take place October 12-15, the four-day programme of over one hundred activities encompasses sports, culture, education and the environment. Tourism secretary Alejandra Ferrer, on hand for the morning presentation, framed the festival as part of something bigger—Discover Formentera in October—which she predicted would be “a fun-filled event for many tourists”.

Water sports
An organised ride round the island will unfold in stages and four different modalities: kayaking, kitesurfing, windsurfing and paddle surfing. Other activities will be related to meditation and yoga.

Show in town centre
Most of the activities will play out in Sant Francesc's town centre. Between plaça de la Constitució, avinguda Porto Salè and jardí de Ses Eres, stands will play host to arts and crafts displays featuring posidonia seagrass.

There will also be a fashion show engineered by local designers. The event will culminate with a “subaquatic runway show” starring two very special models: Gemma Mengual and Cristina Piaget.

For four days, the town square will be transformed into audiovisual space featuring a rotating lineup of environment-related projections. Other shows, which will run the gamut from sustainable mobility and live painting performances to community beach cleanups and sailboat gatherings, will all have one thing in common: sustainability.

Kids' workshops
Of course, it wouldn't be a festival without children, which is why Thursday to Saturday a spate of kids' workshops aim to use a blend of fun and education to get their message across. There will even be a cohort of Mallorca school children here to better understand environmental sustainability.

The Posidonia Forum happens Friday, October 13, in the municipal cinema. The programme will feature conferences and debates with world-class organisations, government administrations and personalities dedicated to tourism and the environment. Later gatherings will include roundtable discussions on the future of tourism and the environment on Formentera.

Environment councillor Daisee Aguilera said the gathering was focussed on “taking stock of posidonia conservation efforts and planning for how the task will look moving forward”.

83,000m2 of sponsored seaweed
Donations to date put the area of adopted posidonia meadows at 66,656 square metres (m2). With an additional 17,000m2 already pledged and set to be added this week, a grand total of 83,000m2 has been safeguarded. Money raised till November 1 will go to fund posidonia conservation projects. Donations can still be made at https://www.saveposidoniaproject.org/es/, at a cost of one euro per metre squared.

Conditions of entry are available on the Balearic employment office, or BOIB, website, as well as the home pages of the Council and the Save Posidonia Project. Applicants will have two months to submit project proposals beginning November 1, when donations close and a definitive fundraising total is established. Projects will be split into three categories: environmental stewardship, awareness and science. Winning projects will be chosen by an expert panel.

Two tour operators—Germany's TUI Care Foundation and Dutch company Corendon—are studying the possibility of covering 100% of the cost of two Save Posidonia Project initiatives.

The 2017 Save Posidonia Festival has been scheduled to coincide with the celebration of Year of Sustainable Tourism. Though conservation fundraising is one priority, another—and no less critical—is hammering the message about vital safeguards for posidonia oceanica, tourism that is respectful of the local ecosystem and taking steps to insure Formentera remains a sustainable destination.

For his part, tourism advisory board chief Carlos Bernús hailed the more than twenty individuals of ten different backgrounds expected to be covering the event. Most of those that have expressed interest in the project represent nationalities that visit Formentera already, such as the Italians, Germans, French, Dutch, etc. “The Formentera brand will be about natural heritage, conservation and sustainability,” said Bernús.

Save Posidonia Project snags prize for sustainable tourism

Foto de grup premiLast night, Alejandra Ferrer and Daisee Aguilera put in appearances at Nit de Turisme (“Tourism Night”), a celebration of the best in Balearic tourism from 2017. The respective secretaries of tourism and environment were on hand as the Wednesday evening gala got under way in Palma's Palau de Congressos, part of the celebrations for World Tourism Day.

Save Posidonia Project, a joint effort between the Formentera Council and the island's advisory entity on tourism, the Patronat de Turisme, was honoured as the “best sustainable tourism initiative”. “As the year of sustainable tourism,” secretary Ferrer pointed out, “2017 has been about bringing people on board about the critical role posidonia plays and raising money to fund conservation”.

Ferrer said she was “thrilled” to receive recognition “for the steps we're taking to make sure Formentera is walking the talk in terms of sustainability and responsible use of natural resources”.

Council issues invitation to 'discover Formentera in October'

Foto tardor descobreix for a loctubreThe Formentera Council's tourism office issued details today on this autumn's Descobreix Formentera a l'octubre (“Discover Formentera in October”). This time around the initiative takes on particular importance given its inclusion in the Save Posidonia Project festival programme. Every year, the initiative proposes special deals to attract late-season tourists to the island. Details about discounts on ferry tickets, car hire and overnight accommodation, as well as other up-to-the-minute information, can be found at www.formentera.es.

Tourism secretary Alejandra Ferrer cited “persistently pleasant weather, a packed ledger of cultural and sports programming and a laid-back atmosphere” as reasons to consider off-season travel to the island. She drew special attention to the green theme of this year's push—a nod, she said, to 2017's designation as Year of Sustainable Tourism.

Gastro weekends
The last weekend in September (plus October 1) and the second weekend of October, the 6th and 7th, restaurants across the island will offer special gastro spreads at €20 (drinks sold separately). All the info, along with complete meal details, will soon be online at www.formentera.es.

October 6-8 Formentera welcomes Son Estrella Galicia Posidonia, a total experience in gastronomy, music, outdoors and local heritage. Like all Save Posidonia Project-partnered events, money will be collected to safeguard tracts of the seagrass meadows. For all the fine points, visit https://estrellagalicia.es/son/festivales/posidonia/

Save Posidonia Festival
During Save Posidonia Festival, a four-day programme of culture, sport and earth consciousness beginning October 12, specialists will join average citizens in pondering environmental sustainability. Visit www.saveposidoniaproject.org/festival for complete programme information.

October 12-15, Formentera will play host to Formentera ZEN too. Three years old this October, the assortment of seminars and workshops promises a dynamic and spontaneous exploration of both the conventions that underpin our reality and our very perception of it. To get all the details and register, go to www.formenterazen.info.

Amics de Formentera are back with Volta a Peu's yearly autumn feature, a group “walk round the island” held in stages from October 12-15. Find the timetable and signup information at www.amicsdeformentera.cat.

Then there is the town of el Pilar de la Mola's annual festival, October 11 and 12—two days of live music, traditional dance, children's activities and a parade.

October's offering of fitness starts on the 7th with the Formentera Triathlon (www.triatlonformentera.com). October 12 runners make “the climb” to la Mola with the twenty-second Pujada. Two mountain-biking events take place October 27-29: a three-part race (BTT Cicloturista) and the one-day Challenge across la Mola. www.bttformentera.net.

Come out October 21 for the autumn favourite, particularly among German expats on the island, Oktoberfest. The party includes beer tastings, original deutsch eats and musicians performing live music.

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