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Submissions now accepted for Save Posidonia Project grant money totalling €112k

The Formentera Department of Environment reports that a call for applications was posted to the Balearic gazette (BOIB) for projects aspiring to obtain funding under Save Posidonia Project 2019. Due to covid-19 the call was made later than initially planned, but €112,000 raised before 1 December 2019 is still available.

The 40-day application period began Friday 24 July and will conclude 17 September.

“Our primary objective is education”, said environment conseller Antonio J Sanz, “this is about encouraging actions that will benefit conservation of Posidonia oceanica, an essential species in Balearic marine ecosystems, not least on the Formentera coastline.”

Submissions are welcome from individuals, groups or scientific teams, and will be continued to be accepted until no funding remains.

The first round of Save Posidonia Project grant money went to projects from the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) and GEN-GOB, an environmental group.

30 July 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell joins SOS Patrimoni push to help pinpoint and protect underwater archaeological heritage

foto 2020 SOS PatrimonioThe Formentera Department of Patrimony reports that Formentera has added its name to an initiative promoting efforts to locate, document and safeguard underwater artefacts of archaeological heritage. Accordingly, informational material has been printed in a bid to spotlight features of such fragile cultural legacy, the pillaging it has long been subject to, and the need for local collaboration in enhancing what we know about these repositories of our shared history and steps to protect them.

Patrimony consellera Raquel Guasch noted that the campaign, known as SOS Patrimoni, was mainly intended for dive centres, fishermen and other groups whose connection to the sea means they are more likely to know where submerged archaeological artefacts lie or to stumble upon them over the course of their work.

“Leave items where you find them”
The patrimony chief emphasised the importance of leaving artefacts where they are found: “For archaeologists, crucial historical insight is lost when objects are taken out of their context. Preservation is moreover rendered extremely difficult when objects are removed from the water”.

Because questions of cultural heritage fall within the remit of local island authorities, individuals who come across underwater archaeological artefacts are asked to contact the Consell de Formentera by calling 971 32 12 75 or by emailing patrimoni@conselldeformentera.cat.

Architects of the current campaign have kept the look and objectives of previous SOS Patrimoni iterations that were overseen by other government institutions and centres such as the Catalonia Centre for Subaquatic Archaeology, the National Museum of Subaquatic Archaeology and the Consell Insular de Mallorca.

The island’s adhesion to the campaign is linked to the plan to prepare a map of undersea archaeological features, a project that was launched in 2015 by the Balearic Institute of Studies in Maritime Archaeology and one which is due to conclude after its most recent initiative.

29 July 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

First look at natural spaces management plan and committee to steer moorage regulation at S’Estany des Peix

foto 2020 xarxa natura 1Earlier today Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer, chief of the Balearic office of natural spaces and biodiversity Llorenç Mas and local environment conseller Antonio J Sanz unveiled the Formentera Xarxa Natura 2000 management plan and the committee that will monitor the effort to regulate moorage at S’Estany des Peix.

All told, the management plan covers a surface area of 8,518.49 hectares and five micro-territories classed as natural spaces in Xarxa Natura 2000: La Mola and Cap de Barbaria (terrestrial and maritime) and Cala Saona and Migjorn and Ses Platgetes beaches (maritime only). Twelve distinct special-interest habitats can be found in the zones in question, and five of them are considered priority.

“Formentera’s commitment to environmental sustainability is long-standing”, insisted Ferrer, “and this plan constitutes clear progress on that path”. She quipped that the management strategy was “all the more important because it means effective protection for each one of the undersea environments on Formentera’s coast”, and indicated that the local and regional governments were working to come up with a scheme to regulate moorage across Formentera’s coastline.

Ferrer added that the search for a contractor to pilot the scheme would be “crucial to regulating this protected local heritage site”.

In an effort to promote conservation, the plan’s architects propose not just regulating how people use the areas in question, but also specific safeguards to protect habitats and the animals that call them home, like monitoring human impact on species such as the bottlenose dolphin and loggerhead sea turtle.

Regulating S’Estany des Peix
Conseller Sanz affirmed that the Spanish coastal agency had delegated authority to manage and regulate watercraft moorage at S’Estany des Peix to the Consell de Formentera—a 15-year mandate open to renewal at term.

The Consell and Govern decided last year to pursue the joint initiative, which will involve equipping S’Estany des Peix with 285 moorage points (207 environmentally-friendly, 78 located on floating pontoons). It also means agreeing on which activities are permitted at the lake, and will include provisions for cleaning.

Conseller Sanz called the news “exciting” and said it marked a double breakthrough as far as protection for land and undersea areas is concerned. “We’re seeing the comeback of an iconic project that had run temporarily aground”, he said, “not to mention the renewed prospect of a balanced ecosystem and the return of uses which islanders have historically given the lake”.

With an equal number of Consell and Govern staff, the six-member monitoring committee met for the first time following the press conference and began work on a management timeline. Reasoning that Formentera’s government was the administration closest to the area in question, Sanz asserted both Consell and Govern were working together and coordinating to ensure that management would fall to local authorities.

Per the terms of a bi-lateral deal, the Consell will come up with a proposal to regulate use that includes minimum requirements before a vessel can moor at the lake. The proposal must also establish backstops to guarantee environmental safeguards and respect for traditional uses of S’Estany des Peix.

The Govern, for its part, will be responsible for monitoring the impact of associated infrastructure on flora, fauna and the surrounding area. It will also oversee, with support from the Consell, habitat conservation and recovery projects. Funding for the project to the tune of €652,154 was made possible by the Impost de Turisme Sostenible (Sustainable Tourism Levy).

28 July 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell celebrates Formentera Local Police officers’ completion of training

foto 2020 diplomes policia localConsell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer and Balearic minister of public administrations and modernisation Isabel Castro took part today in a ceremony to award accreditation to three law enforcement agents from Formentera and one from the Eivissa town of Sant Joan who successfully completed a training initiative. Known as the “quarantine course”, the programme was unable to unfold according to initial plans due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Additional attendees included the head of the regional emergencies office, Jaume Barceló; Formentera interior conseller Josep Marí; Balearic School of Public Administration (EBAP) director Mercedes Riera; chief of local police Fèlix Ramos and other figures of authority.

Highlighting collaboration between local and regional governments as “fundamental”, President Ferrer held up further coordination as “pivotal to filling the gaps in our force and ensuring proper provision of this essential service, particularly given our local law enforcement’s proximity to islanders and amid situations like the one we’ve seen in recent months”. “We’ll continue working to achieve the police force that Formentera needs”, said Ferrer, “with the number of officers we need, and with the stability and training opportunities that are needed as well.”

Housing and travel grants
Ms Castro indicated that two of the 29 officers currently in basic local police training are from Formentera, and that, considering the course is being held off the island, those students are eligible for up to €1,215 in housing and travel subsidies from the EBAP.

Castro affirmed that both the Govern balear and EBAP were “sensitive to the enormous sacrifice that far-from-home trainees must make in order become public servants”. “I imagine no one understands that sacrifice quite so much as our two Formentera officers”, she said. Participants in the 41st basic training course at EBAP Mallorca also include 18 officers from Eivissa, nine from Menorca and seven from Mallorca.

28 July 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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