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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Environment

Researchers share results from Save Posidonia Project’s premier winner, ‘Antroposi’

cartell 2021 antroposiThe Formentera offices of tourism and environment report that architects of an effort to study the direct impact of drainage pipes, watercraft and human activity on posidonia meadows in the Anthropocene will share their findings in a 6.30pm YouTube presentation on Wednesday 10 March. Researchers in the Imedea-backed “Antroposi” project walked away with €83,822 in funding after beating out the competition in the inaugural edition of the Consell de Formentera’s Save Posidonia Project. For more than a year, researchers looked at various segments of Formentera’s surrounding seafloor in a bid to deepen understanding of how the more high impact human activities like sewage discharge and boats dropping anchors and navigating above meadows of Posidonia oceanica seagrass. Imedea researcher Iris Hendricks will lead the presentation.

5 March 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

New waste management contract leads with organics, frequent pickups and brand-new bins and equipment

The Formentera Department of Environment reports that this Friday, local cabinet councillors will present for approval in the February plenary assembly a procurement contract for waste collection and transport, clean roads and beaches, green spaces conservation and maintenance and management of the island’s waste treatment plant. The eight-year contract comes with the option of a two-year extension and is valued at €31.5 million, with FDE chair Antonio J Sanz drawing attention to terms like an upgraded vehicle fleet, enhanced organics collection, new bins and more frequent pickup.

More organics, more bins
The contract covers standard waste, paper/cardboard, plastics and glass collection; door-to-door commercial pickup for “major waste generators”; door-to-door organics pickup for “mid-range” and major waste generators; door-to-door collection on pedestrian streets in Es Pujols and —absent from past contracts— kerbside organics bins as soon as two years after the contract’s entry in force. Councillor Sanz called it “the latest step in line with 2019 legislation on waste and polluted soils requiring 50% of all discarded material be recyclable”.

The incoming service provider will also be on the hook for upgrades of the island’s underground containers and their inside-and-out cleaning, not to mention new dustbins street side.

Pickup frequency, new equipment and e-vehicles
In addition to an upgraded fleet of vehicles including electric vehicles in the light fleet, the new terms envision enhanced material and human resources for more frequent service factoring for considerations like seasonal demand. Councillor Sanz said improvements ranging from increased collections to staff and e-vehicle additions sought to enable a more appropriate response to local demand.

Landscaping and road clearing will also be provided for, services Sanz said would require “more extensive material and human resources”, plus manual and machine-assisted beach cleaning and waterfront rubbish and recycling bins.

Path forward
The new contract will be put to tender when plenary backing is secured, with service rollout possible as early as year’s end. “Contracts like these can be slow-going and convoluted”, said Sanz, who confided he was nevertheless “hopeful this moves quickly because it’s of vital importance to the island”, describing the island’s former waste management contract as “obsolete” and “conceived for Formentera circa 2005”. He concluded by praising the department staffers who had “made this contract happen”.

24 February 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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

Researchers studying sustainable nautical uses of posidonia meadows unveil findings

foto 2021 posidoniaThe Formentera Tourism Department and the Formentera Environment Department report that online audiences got a first look yesterday at a joint effort by GEN-GOB and Soldecocos to explore nautical practices that favour the sustainability of posidonia seagrass — an idea with roots in the Consell de Formentera-backed Save Posidonia Project’s 2017 call for proposals.

FED chief Antonio J. Sanz said continued research in the field was “every bit as key as the ongoing effort to safeguard this crucial part of the local ecosystem”. A total of €112,000 will go to winning SPP submissions in 2021, said Sanz, who drew attention to the 11 proposals already received. “Since launching, SPP has meant protection for 252,000 square metres of seagrass”, he pointed out, asserting, “There’s an increasing amount of awareness around the issue.”

The study’s general aim is to expand government’s reach to the sea — inquiring into how the sea and locally protected sites are managed and used; weighing the toll of moorage; formulating a consensus-based assessment of the ecological health of seagrass meadows; training students and study administrators and stewarding vulnerable undersea habitats located in posidonia meadows.

GEN-GOB’s Xisco Sobrado and Immaculada Martínez, of Soldecocos, led the presentation, which drew from two separate studies: one, a progress report on posidonia conservation and protection so far; the other, a look at the impact of anchoring watercraft on posidonia meadows on the Formentera coast.

General consensus re: posidonia virtues
Ecology, culture, the economy and identity were among the factors that came up most frequently when social and professional stakeholders were queried about posidonia’s importance. Researchers also underscored general consensus around the value of posidonia, and the potentially crucial role of social participation in improving governance and decision-making on the issue.

Five hundred 26-metre ships daily on Formentera shores
The study also mentions recreational watercraft, “a source of considerable pressure on Formentera’s seafloor”. Such vessels are present in spades in summer, particularly August, when moorage points number between 14,000 and 24,000 and five hundred 26-metre ships dot the coast any given day on average. One per cent of these ships are believed to anchor on seagrass, with the most dramatic impact observed on the western shore of Illetes and at Cala Saona. Researchers named motorboats, yachts and sailboats between 6 and 195 metres long (26 metres on average) among the offending craft. The average boat length is 12 metres.

SPP’s other winning proposal, ‘Antroposi’ by Imedea, is a look at the direct effect of human activity on posidonia meadows, Findings are due shortly.

12 February 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Presenting findings from study on sustainable marine uses of sea grass

The Formentera Environment Department reports that findings from ‘Sustainable marine uses of posidonia on Formentera’ will be unveiled in a Zoom call (https://zoom.us/j/92581086482) this Thursday 11 February at 7.00pm. A GEN-GOB project with support from Soldecocos, the initiative has roots in the Consell-sponsored Save Posidonia Project and purports to share findings of an effort to gauge conservation and protection of Posidonia oceanica and the impact of mooring watercraft on local meadows of the seagrass. All are welcome.

9 February 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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