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Paleoformentera’s unprecented look at island’s first settlers and the history of the Formentera landscape

foto 2021 paleo CThe Formentera Department of Heritage is pleased to announce that the winners of local government’s 2020 research grant —Dr. Pau Sureda, postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Heritage Sciences (INCIPIT-CSIC), and Dr. Jordi Revelles, postdoctoral researcher at the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES-CERCA)— started work this week on ‘Paleoformentera—History of the landscape and management of plant resources Formentera’s first settlers’. Sureda and Revelles have set out obtaining sedimentary sequences in order to piece together the environmental and climatic history of Estany Pudent and Estany des Peix.

Pioneering research in Pine Islands
The unprecedented effort has seen geologists from the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (IPE-CSIC) partnering with colleagues from the Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT). “In the coming months samples will be processed and studies will aim to reconstruct the history of vegetation, fires and climatic fluctuations over the last millennia”, said Sureda, asserting the data would offer “key insight into natural dynamics and prehistoric populations’ relationship with the island environment”.

Funding increase
FDH chief Raquel Guasch welcomed the news: “The study will shed light on the history of our island, and help us better understand the footprint of Formentera’s natural heritage”. At €8,500, the 2020 grant constitutes a €2,500 increase on previous years’ amount. Guasch insisted the change was crucial given the importance of the proposed study. Six applications were received in 2020, two more than 2019.

Paleoformentera received additional support from Trasmapi.

15 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Civic group coordinating body turns over documentary holdings to municipal archives

foto 2021 donacio AThe Consell de Formentera received yesterday the entire documentary collection of the Formentera Civic Group Coordinator (Coordinadora de Entidades Cívicas de Formentera, CECF), a citizens’ platform formed in 1987 to mobilise opposition around plans for a major hotel complex in Punta de sa Pedrera and campgrounds near Es Ca Marí.

Consell premiere Alejandra Ferrer and heritage chief Raquel Guasch were present as the donation was made official, with Pep Mayans, Xicu Ferrer, Isidor Torres and Andreu Ferrer on hand to represent CECF.

Among the holdings are CECF’s minutes and statutes, writings and communiqués, press clippings about the campsite and hotel complex and a video about the campsite. And then there are the petitions: to protest construction of the campsite, to push for reduced fares on ferries to and from Eivissa, and to defend local decision-makers who faced court challenges in connection with their opposition to the planned construction. Offered in the name of the people of Formentera, the donation includes a gold medal, diploma and three photographs from the award ceremony that was held on the island’s first yearly celebration, the Diada de Formentera.

According to Xicu Ferrer, who, together with President Ferrer, supplied his signature to make the donation official, “Now that the CECF is no longer operative, these documents belong to Formentera’s catalogue of local heritage”.

Alejandra Ferrer called CECF’s work in the 1980s and 1990s “essential to defending our values and a model that set the tone for future generations”. In a show of respect and gratitude, the Consell offered the CECF its gold medal award on the occasion of the first-ever Diada de Formentera.

‘More visible and closer to islanders’
Raquel Guasch applauded the donations: “Although recent, these items form part of our history and heritage, and stand as important reminders of the island’s political gumption”.

The holdings will now be incorporated into the municipal archives. “Efforts are in full swing to further define the shape and content of the Arxiu de Formentera, and make it more visible and bring it closer to islanders”, Guasch said.


14 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell opens up €250K in funding for cultural heritage in 2021

foto 2021 ajudes patrimoniThe Formentera Department of Heritage reports that applications are being accepted for money to pay for work on cultural heritage sites; restoration of drystone walls and burial of power and telephone lines. Claims on the quarter million euros in available assistance must be submitted by 31 July. The terms of the initiative have been posted to the Official Gazette of the Balearic Islands (BOIB) and www.consellinsulardeformentera.cat.

Heritage chair Raquel Guasch highlighted the snug fit last year between availability and applications received — “proof that, when it comes to preserving our heritage, property owners are interested and involved. So we’re staying the course. True to our word, we will shape the offer so this funding enriches our heritage sites and cements the place they hold on our identity”.

Thirty-five per cent of the €250,000 will go towards work on cultural heritage sites; 45% to restoring drystone walls and 20% to burying power and telephone lines. Twenty-five disbursements issued last year totalled €210.339.

Cultural heritage sites
Eligible projects must involve restoration, conservation, consolidation or refurbishment of cultural and national heritage sites, or involve work on sites or architectural features which are included in Formentera’s catalogue and inventory of cultural heritage. A project must also constitute betterment and elevation of the site’s value.

Depending on a site’s level of protection and the nature of the work in question, funding can cover: in the case of cultural heritage sites, up to 90% of project costs or €50,000; sites with level-B protection, 60% of costs (€30,000); sites with level-C protection, 50% of costs (€25,000); sites in the inventory, 40% of costs (€15,000); sites with ethnological value, 40% of costs (€10,000).

Restoring drystone walls
Funding is available for repairs completed using traditional materials and techniques as well as replacement with traditional drystone walls of those made of concrete blocks or other substanstard materials. For walls along public roads, assistance will cover €90/metre (or €40/m for property owners who handle the works themselves); for all other walls, assistance covers €75/m (or €30/m).

Burying overhead cables
Assistance is also available for islanders who underground overhead telephone and utility cables (medium voltage power lines; transformer substations; low-voltage mains and shunts). The Consell will give €45/m (up to €60,000) provided funding does not exceed 60% of the initial technical report.

Applications can be submitted in-person at the Citizen Information Office (Carrer Ramon Llull, 6; Sant Francesc) or online, from the Consell de Formentera website, on the Virtual Citizen Information Office (OVAC).

14 April 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Windmill and Ethnographic Collection reopen

foto 2021 moli vellThe Consell de Formentera announces that the old La Mola windmill (el molí Vell) and Formentera Ethnographic Collection reopened earlier this week. The windmill will open for public visits until the end of May, Wednesday to Saturday from 10.00am to 2.00pm, closed holidays, while the FEC will open year round (except holidays and for staff leave), Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00am to 1.30pm. As part of Covid-19 safety protocol in place, capacity at both sites is capped at 6, with the FEC additionally requiring all multiple visitors be from the same household.

This winter, the Formentera heritage office teamed up with the windmill’s owner, the Balearic Islands Foundation, to restore sails and assorted parts of the structure. Last year both parties signed an agreement giving local government direct control over opening hours and visits for the next six years.

4 March 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Before regional governments and parliaments in Catalunya, València, Murcia and Aragon and central government, Consell recognises Catalan as one language

The Formentera Department of Language Policy (FDLP) reports that the governments and parliaments of Catalunya, València, Murcia and Aragon, as well as the central government in Madrid and the upper and lower houses of Spanish parliament, have been sent an accord adopted by the Consell de Formentera 25 November 2020 in plenary assembly and recognising Catalan as a single language.

With the world set to celebrate International Mother Language Day tomorrow, 21 February, FDLP chair Raquel Guasch cast the initiative “part of the crucial task of safeguarding the present and future of our language”. The island’s plenary body asserted certain expressions were unique to the brand of Catalan spoken on Formentera, and decried actions in legislative, government, practical and social strata to undermine people’s right to use Catalan in places where it is co-official.

Recipients include Murcia and Aragon governments
Councillor Guasch pointed out the Consell had also sent the declaration to the regions of Murcia and Aragon: “The former doesn’t recognise Catalan speakers in Carxe, and the latter recognises Catalan as a local language but has fallen short of granting it ‘official’ status”.

Formentera’s municipal leaders pressed the central government to “heed linguistic studies recognising the plain-to-see unitarity of the Catalan language” and to set right “those agencies and offices which cast doubt on this fact and encourage splintering of the language”.

As for the Catalan language’s years-long process of ‘normalisation’, Councillor Guasch described it as an “aspirational process” — working toward a situation where Spain’s various languages can be used with absolute normalcy in regions where they are officially recognised. Catalan isn’t there yet, Guasch insisted, and there are obstacles along the way: the councillor remarked that even today “people are forced to remind official institutions of the language they speak, where their language is spoken and that they have a right to speak it.” She added, “It’s past time Spain changed its approach to ‘multilingualism’ and truly recognised linguistic diversity”.

20 February 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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