Environment minister takes first official trip to Formentera

VISITA VICENC VIDALEarlier today, Consell Insular de Formentera president Jaume Ferrer received an official visit from the regional minister of environment, agriculture and fishing of the Govern Balear, Vicenç Vidal. At 12 noon the gentlemen gathered for a meeting in the Council's plenary hall, where they were joined by Formentera's second vice-president and local councillor of the presidential cabinet, tax office and rural environment, Bartomeu Escandell, local environmental councillor Daisee Aguilera and —director general of the Govern's offices of green education, environmental controls and waste management— Sebastià Sansó.

Regulating moorage along Formentera coast
As Ferrer pointed out, high up on the list of agenda items was the project to regulate moorage along the Formentera coastline. The CiF president said he was hopeful the project —long an issue of particular importance for the Council— would finally move forward under the new regional administration in Palma. Meeting attendants also took advantage of the occasion to discuss the zoning —both maritime and land-based— of the Estany des Peix. Said Councillor Vidal: “One of the challenges our regional ministry faces is drafting a plan of action for the LICs (Llocs d'Interès Comunitari, or regional special interest zones – TN) that surround Formentera”. Vidal pledged that the moorage troubles along the Formentera coast as well as the effort to ensure conservation of posidonia seagrass would both be “priorities” for his office.

Reviving farming at Can Marroig
Another issue on the table, revealed Ferrer, was the Govern's cession of the farmable portion of Can Marroig for cultivation by Formentera's local cooperative of farmers, la Cooperativa del Camp. Minister Vidal proved receptive to the petitions of the Formentera administration, saying: “We hope the land can be farmed once again and that this will assist in the task of producing quality food products”. Vidal was also sympathetic to the Council's request to use a conference room —property of the Palma administration— on certain occasions.

Improvements to the water treatment plant and effluent drainage pipe
President Ferrer called to mind complications this summer at the Formentera water treatment plant and drainage pipe. To avoid recurrence of the same issue, Ferrer asked the Govern to oversee “a remodel of the plant and extension of the length of the sewage pipe”. The regional minister indicated he would study the issue.

Irrigation pond
According to Ferrer, after five years of waiting and an eight-million-euro budget, “it is time the irrigation reservoir become a reality”, a sentiment which was echoed in recent days by the Cooperativa del Camp. The Govern's environmental minister indicated that by year-end the Tragsa company was expected to publish the results of a 3,000-euro project to “inspect the facilities and determine how much it would cost to get them in working order”.

Coordination between the two administrations
The Council and Govern Balear also articulated a need to improve coordination on certain issues. The two administrations pledged they would strive to ensure smoother communication between guards at the Ses Salines natural reserve and the Council's own fishing inspectors and between Ibanat personnel and the Formentera brigade of firefighters.