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Taking the music of Formentera to Barcelona audiences

Nits-de-Formentera Elena-Marco foto actuació Sala Cultura Formentera copiaNext Friday, 29 January, the Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius in Barcelona will host Nits de Formentera, a show which brings together the best that the Formentera music has to offer. Susana Labrador, the CiF's councillor of culture, read through a list of performers that included local musicians Aires Formenterencs, Imaràntia, Caramelles de Formentera and Xumeu Joan. Labrador underscored the significance of the opportunity «for our artists to take their art to a major hub in the world of Catalan music».

The concert is included in the programming for the 29th Tradicionàrius folk festival as well as Caps de Setmana de les Illes, a weekend event dedicated to the Balearic Islands. Caps de Setmana will also feature Sant Antoni bonfires in the Gràcia neighbourhood, a sampling of Majorcan products and a demonstration of 'ball de bot' dancing. All the events are organised by the Institut Estudis Baleàrics and the Govern Balear's regional ministry of culture. The Formentera Council has also contributed by covering travel expenses for the musicians.

Over the course of the three-month festival some fifty events and concerts are set to take place, with more than sixty groups and artists taking part. Nits de Formentera was previously given 18 December at the Sant Francesc cinema and in November at the Mar i Terra theatre of Mallorca.

Tickets can be reserved at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling 932184485.

10 p.m. - concert and 'ball de bot' dance
Door: 10 € / Pre-sale tickets: 8 €

Council and IBANAT take on pine processionary

Foto treballador forestal. Autor Baide 22.16.00Together with the Govern Balear, the Formentera Council (CiF) is behind a new push to curb the spread of the pine processionary caterpillar on Formentera. Councillor Daisee Aguilera, who oversees the CiF department of environment, noted that starting yesterday, January 13th, Council crews began to look for nests of the insect in the area it is most common: Es Cap de Barbaria.

Manual or mechanical drives

«We’ve contracted two forest service specialists who will be on the island for the next two weeks to attend to the problems the species is causing. What’s more», Aguilera continued, «the Council is coordinating a volunteer group that will remove the insects’ nests by hand (in lower branches) and machine (in high branches)». Aguilera’s office has also enlisted the Es Cap hunters’ club to shoot at nests located in the high top branches of pine trees. The office of the environment has purchased 2,500 cartridges at a cost of €600 and intends to begin that phase of the process between this week and next, depending on weather. The councillor added: «If anyone else wants to join either volunteer group, or if other residents have affected pine trees on their property, please contact the department of environment for assistance».

IBANAT's work

For its part, the Balearic Nature Institute (IBANAT for its acronym in Catalan), a branch of the regional ministry of environment, agriculture and fishing of the Govern Balear, has coordinated several different actions on Formentera to attack flare-ups in caterpillar numbers.

Since Tuesday January 12th and for another two weeks, IBANAT personnel will provide technical advising to CiF staff, cutting down and burning the nests they find in the Es Cap area. Council officials said the partnership can later be extended beyond two weeks if need be.

Govern decree fits neatly with Formentera's own protectionist strategies

Reunió decret protecció premsaCiF president Jaume Ferrer, president's office secretary Bartomeu Escandell, and Alejandra Ferrer, the island's secretary of tourism, sat down today with two regional government officials —Joan Boned, the Balearic minister of land, mobility and energy, and Luis Corral, the director general of the ministry's land use department— to be brought up to speed on an order, approved yesterday by the executive branch, containing urgent measures on urban planning.

Speaking after the gathering, Alejandra Ferrer framed the new decree as an extension of the island's own guidelines for territorial safeguards, a code of standards called “Subsidiary Norms” (Normes Subsidiàries) which was adopted in 2010. Yesterday's executive order throws up a building freeze on certain swaths of protected land, something Formentera's standards code includes as well. “Our unique territorial situation, not to mention limited size, make us different”, Ferrer said, “that's a difference that makes us competitive”.

Power return
Ferrer spoke cheerily about another effect of the decree: that local branches of government stand to regain some powers. When the Balearic executive decree and Formentera's Subsidiary Norms overlap in a given area, the more restrictive of the two codes takes precedence, a fact Ferrer indicated could mean reinstatement of the local ban on camping.

Concerning tourism, Ferrer welcomed the potential that yesterday's order opens up for facilities improvements in rural areas, while still warning against the possibility that such a rules change be used improperly, say, to disguise unauthorised expansion projects.

In Ferrer's estimation, a good deal of work on land-use legislation still lies ahead, and she encouraged the Palma officials to work with the Formentera administration to ensure that the new regulations “square with the unique qualities of our island”.

Locals shoppers made 4,400 purchases this holiday season

Entrega premis premsaThe Formentera Council's trade office teamed up with the local chamber of commerce today to award prizes as part of a Christmas raffle. The eleven lucky winners had all taken part in “Compra a casa, compra a Formentera” a Christmas push to buy local and support island businesses. Trade secretary Alejandra Ferrer highlighted the success of a campaign which, in this, its second year, has put 4,400 raffle tickets in the pockets of Formentera shoppers—proof, the secretary said, “that more than 4,400 purchases were made at local businesses this holiday season”.

Expanding the campaign
Initially participation was open to any local business not trading in edible products, provided it continued operations through the year and put up Christmas decorations. However, given Formentera shoppers' warm reception of the campaign, Ferrer says next year will come with expansion to new areas, such as restaurants that are open year-round, which the secretary says should benefit from the buy-local incentives. Ferrer even alluded to the possibility of extending the campaign past the holiday season.

Eleven winners
Secretary Ferrer was joined by Juanma Costa, the chairman of the chamber of commerce, in handing out prizes to the eleven winners. Jaime Moll won a weekend on Eivissa for two, car and hotel included; Maria Magdalena received a Christmas ham and bottle of wine; Erika Escandell, two cinema tickets for two; Paquita Escandell, dinner for two at Acapulco; Begoña, a piece of art by Sol Courregues; Antonio Tur, a trip to Raquel's hair salon in la Savina (with cut, colour and styling); Rita, dinner for two at s'Abeurada den Simonet; Patricia Vázquez, a piece of art by Sol Courregues; Alicia Benito, a shellac nail session at BSC in la Savina; Isabel Roig, perfume from Artesanía Formentera in Sant Francesc; and Antònia, a set of books. Winners who were unable to unable to attend the ceremony can stop by the trade office (àrea de Comerç) of the Formentera Council to pick up their prize.

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