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Hunters pitch in by taking aim at pine processionary nests

foto 2021 uribe processionariaIn recent days and till month’s end, a Formentera Environment Department push to curb spread of pine processionary pest is getting a boost from hunters who are turning their guns on nests in hard-to-reach pine tree branches. The Consell has over 5,000 ammunition cartridges to be used to this effect.

For more information visit the FED (Àrea de Medi Ambient) at carrer Mallorca, 15 (baixos) in Sant Ferran de ses Roques; call 971 32 12 10 ext.1 or send an email to mediambient@conselldeformentera.cat. Islanders can likewise contact the healthy forests division of the Balearic government on their website, or by phone (971 17 66 66) or email.

16 February 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera announces one-year extension on permits for holiday rentals

Amid the unusual backdrop of unfolding developments in the public health situation, the Consell de Formentera will extend the validity of holiday rental permits another year. Set to receive approval in local government’s upcoming February plenary, the move marks a continuation of the extension adopted at the pandemic’s start. “Crises in public health and the economy and across society have not dissipated”, said President Alejandra Ferrer, “so we’ll be tacking on another 12-month extension to holiday rental permits at our February full-house session”.

Permits issued while earlier regulations were in force and which were due to expire in 2021 will be automatically extended. The change also affects previously extended permits. An associated €70 fee is typically charged for such permits, which are valid for one year.

Plan for quality
In May 2020, with the island poised to adopt a new “plan for quality” for the 2019-2024 period, local legislators opted to suspend the new plan’s rollout in favour of extending the 2015-2019 plan until December 2021. President Ferrer said the about-turn was about giving islanders additional time to make investments required to meet new conditions on holiday rentals.

In Ferrer’s words, “2020 and 2021 have seen the adoption of various rebates, extensions and subsidies for businesses and families. The extensions are designed to palliate the ongoing economic recession in local tourism by scrapping fees associated with holiday rentals.”

16 February 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

15 years helping foreign-born islanders finesse cultural and social integration

cartell 2021 curs integracioThe Formentera Department of Social Welfare announces open enrolment from 18 to 26 February for the course on social and cultural integration. Classes in this round of the twice yearly course run 4-30 March. Students who complete the course successfully receive a report from the Balearic government accrediting the holder’s efforts towards integration, and classes serve to prepare individuals who take the CCSE citizenship test. Conducted over 20 hours in two weekly sessions, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4.30 to 7.00pm, the course will be held in Formentera’s adult learning centre.

Trumpeting the Consell’s commitment to the integration of foreign-born islanders, FDSW chief Rafael Ramírez described the course as “yet another tool to help people get there”, not to mention “a path to proper handling of administrative paperwork”.

As in October, public health imperatives mean class size will go from 15 to 12, and spaces will be awarded by order of enrolment. Individuals interested in signing up should inquire at the social welfare office by telephone (971.321.271) or email (immigració@conselldeformentera.cat).

Topics covered by course facilitator Dolores Fernández Tamargo will include Spain's constitutional values, human rights and civil liberties, the Balearic Statute of Autonomy, the European Union and gender equality, among others.


16 February 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell d’Entitats weighs formentera.eco scheme to regulate in-bound vehicles

foto 2021 CdE 1Members of the island’s league of civic leaders gathered yesterday at 7.30pm to take stock of 2020 figures for formentera.eco and assess the latest plan to limit vehicles on the island. When the Consell d’Entitats reconvenes next Monday, attendees will share feedback from respective groups and render their verdict concerning the project’s definitive approval.

With enhanced tier 4 public health orders in place, in-person participants at the encounter were limited to Consell de Formentera chief Alejandra Ferrer, mobility chair Rafael González, citizen participation chair Vanessa Parellada, a clerk and a senior Formentera Department of Citizen Participation staffer. Representatives of civic groups and political parties, together with members of the media, tuned in online.

Over thirty association members logged on for the Consell d’Entitats’ first treatment of formentera.eco. President Ferrer applauded the strong showing, calling the turn-out “crucial to making sure Formentera’s longstanding march toward sustainability is shaped by both political and economic stakeholders”. Ferrer confided that “2020 was very tough, and 2021 will be too”, but asserted abandoning hard-fought gains was a non-starter: “Backpedaling on our vision for Formentera is out of the question.”

Ferrer pointed to “unique visitor experience” as imperative, and said the secret to Formentera’s setting itself apart lay in “protecting heritage sites, traditions, culture and our physical landscapes”. “Vibrant tourism and a growing economy need to translate to better quality of life for Formentera residents”, insisted the première, “and to get there, projects like formentera.eco are essential.”

formentera.eco 2020
Presentation of 2020 formentera.eco figures fell to the Formentera Department of Mobility chief Rafael González. One year prior to the scheme’s rollout, local legislators aspired to ultimately see a 16% drop, punctuated by yearly -4% benchmarks, in the total number of in-bound vehicles, intending for the figure to be reached gradually over the 2020-2024 term. All told, 19,725 motorists got the green-light from formentera.eco in 2020, just shy of the established maximum of 21,487.

For twenty days starting 5 August and in the heat of the summer rush, visiting motorists claimed more than 95% of the total permits available to them (formentera.eco authorisations ran out altogether for the four-day period starting 13 August). The island generally managed to avoid maxing out entirely, Ramírez said, highlighting the decision to lower the permit ceiling for resident drivers in an effort to temper fallout from the pandemic. As the councillor put it, “What the figures show is that, the Covid crisis notwithstanding, regulation is still necessary”.

formentera.eco 2021
Proposal terms as communicated to Consell d’Entitats:
-4% ceiling reduction (relative to 2020 figures)
2019: 22,382
2020: 21,486
2021: 20,591
-Regulatory period subject to discussion:
Option 1: Last week in June until first week in September
Option 2: July and August
-Fee-based or free of charge?

Free advance reservations can be made in the permit request section of the formentera.eco site, expected to go online again in March. Bookings will be finalised in May and, pending developments of the pandemic, will be free or subject to payment. Permits are guaranteed for travellers with bookings for overnight accommodations or arrangements to travel with a personal vehicle made before March.

Sustainable mobility
By González’s lights, “the formentera.eco endgame is a brand of sustainable mobility where foot traffic, bikes and public transport all gain ground against cars”. He pointed to a number of routes forward on the path to sustainability:

Public transport
-€100,000 to restore Formentera public transport to the 2019, pre-Covid level.
-Free rides for people under 18 and dependent individuals plus companions.
-Public transport by taxi: engage chauffeurs’ association in discussion of proposed increase in seasonal licences as needed. Ride-hailing services prohibited.
Promoting bicycles
-Complete bike lane in Port of La Savina.
-Encourage pedestrian and bicycle travel on Camí de sa Guia between La Savina and Ses Illetes.
-Revamp parking and expand cycling zones at Ses Salines reserve.
-Encourage pedestrian and cyclist travel on Camí des Brolls linking La Savina and Sant Francesc with Es Pujols.
-Subsidies on purchases of traditional and electric bikes. (€15,000 in funding already available).
Communications
-Website and app Próximo Ferry provides arriving travellers with information about public buses
-Local sustainable mobility and formentera.eco information stand in Port of La Savina.
-“Metrominut” maps/leaflets featuring distances and travel times between Port of La Savina and Ses Illetes/Es Pujols/Sant Francesc to promote pedestrian and cycling options.

16 February 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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