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Environment

Formentera.eco named best sustainable tourism initiative

premi-turisme-sosteniblejpThe Consell de Formentera scheme formentera.eco to cap permits for in-bound vehicles has won the award for best sustainable tourism initiative. Mobility councillor Rafael González received the honours at the Nit de Turisme gala held last night on Menorca.

González explained that “for the first time, with formentera.eco, we’re regulating which vehicles are being brought and driven on the island. The goal is simple: to preserve the land and Formentera’s very tranquility by tackling saturation on local roads”.

The initiative grew out of the request of one resident, and is driven by two main goals. González described the first as “delivering a quality of life improvement for locals”. The second? “Visitor satisfaction”, he said, “so, whether someone comes in May or August, they’ll find the island they’re looking for”.

“In the first year we got what we set out to achieve—fewer cars on local roads in the high season, and more people using public transport or cycling”. Feats like those, “and distinctions like this one”, the mobility chief professed, “are motivation to keep pushing forward in the years ahead”.

2019 marks the fourth straight year that the best sustainable initiative prize is given to a Formentera project; a plan to promote the recovery of the local countryside won the accolades in 2016, followed by Save Posidonia Project in 2017 and Posidonia maps in 2018. Regional first minister Francina Armengol, Balearic economic model, tourism and employment minister Iago Negueruela, Menorca president Susana Mora and other regional authorities attended the ceremony as well.


11 December 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Formentera plays host to first gathering of commission on water this legislative term

foto-juntaaiguesjpThe environment and rural offices of the Consell de Formentera report that this afternoon, following a call from the Balearic government, members of the Island Waters Junta (Junta Insular d'Aigües) met for their first gathering of the legislative term.

Regional environment and territory minister, Miquel Mir, and the director-general of water resources, Joana Garau, chaired the meeting, which also saw the attendance of local environment and rural councillors Antonio J Sanz and Josep Marí as well as representatives from environmental groups, farmers and users of local irrigation and urban water grids.

Garau gave attendees an overview of the first part of a modified Balearic Water Plan (PHIB) for 2021-2027. Minister Garau pointed out that the document is currently available for public viewing, and encouraged administrations, industry actors and regular islanders to review it.

“Responsibility here cuts across the different administrations that are involved” said Garau, “and we can’t just be talking about the quantity of dessalinated water on each island —and Formentera’s no isolated case— but whether we can be storing it to satisfy local water needs throughout the year”.

For his part, Conseller Sanz said he hoped the gathering would facilitate discussion around “issues at both the dessalination plant and irrigation pond, so our two sister administrations can get to work finding solutions”.


4 December 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Organic waste collection up 29.98% since last year

residus-orga--nicsv2Formentera’s environment office reports that the amount of organic waste collected in 2019 marks an 29.98% increase on the same figure in 2018. A total of 704.17 tonnes were picked up over the five months from 15 May to 15 October, compared to 541.77 tonnes the previous year.

Organic waste collection among restaurants and other local businesses began with a 2017 trial run that netted 100 tonnes. This year the network of establishments benefitting from door-to-door pick-up has grown to 170. Participants even have at their disposition an environmental advisory agent, or zelador, from the Consell’s environment office.

Environment councillor Antonio J Sanz hailed the news and thanked participating businesses “for everything they’ve brought to the table”.

Councillor Sanz pointed out that, in 2019, between the figures for collected organic waste and recyclables such glass, plastics, paper and cardboard, the Consell de Formentera “is getting closer to our goal of recycling half of all the island’s waste that was outlined in legislation passed in August 2019 on hazardous materials and soils”. Recyclables currently account for 33.78% of total waste collection, a four-point increase since a year ago.

The figures from the environment department show that, including September, solid waste collection in urban parts of the island was at 5,617.42 tonnes; paper and cardboard collection reached 805,07 tonnes; plastics 561.94, glass 661.88 and organic waste 661.88. Collection rates were highest in August (1,637 tonnes), followed by July (1,528) and June (1,271.76). The low came in January, when total collection dropped to 363.82.

21 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

In summer 2019, Formentera upped glass recycling by 23%

ecovidriovj1The environment department of the Consell de Formentera reports that this summer, with the help of Ecovidrio's Moviment Banderes Verdes (“Green Flags Movement"), drop-offs of glass recyclables marked a 23% increase, putting total green-bin collections at 582 tonnes. The figures put Formentera third in the Balearics for glass recycling, and reflect the efforts of the 124 local businesses which took part in the measure. Green collection bins were delivered to participating establishments—some had never participated in glass recycling before; others, seasoned recyclers, saw their container swapped for a newer model. Smaller, specially-designed recycling bins were distributed to hotels.

According to Ecovidrio, the glass-recycling efforts of islanders were equivalent to keeping 337 tonnes of CO2 from escaping into the atmosphere—or 158 cars parked for a year. Or, by another metric, the 415MW-per-hour in energy savings might be translated as keeping 698 tonnes of raw materials in the ground. Environment conseller Antonio J Sanz trumpeted the figures, pointing out “it's as if the hospital cut its yearly energy consumption in half". “This kind of recognition is important", quipped Sanz, who said the numbers were in line with other increases —of 33%— in overall recycling.

Balearic Green Flags Movement
In the Balearics, drop-off rates at green containers are up 11.7% since last year. All told, 11,020 tonnes of glass were collected across the 22 coastal towns that took part in the initiative, putting the reduction of CO2 emissions at 6,391 tonnes.

30 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

This Monday 7 October, info session on the pine processionary on Formentera

cartell-procesionaria-2019-cop1The Consell de Formentera environment office reports that islanders are encouraged to attend an information session about the pine processionary on Formentera. Scheduled for Monday 7 October at 7.00pm in the Sala d’Actes, the gathering will be led by María Isidora Santiago, head of the healthy forests service of the natural spaces and biodiversity arm of the Balearic government.

The educational event is one part of the response to climbing pine processionary numbers on the island; another—currently due to start this October—includes a two-part aerial dusting of 1,500 hectares of local land, pending proper weather conditions and the caterpillars’ particular stage of development.

4 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera 

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