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Formentera joins pilot EU project for renewable energy

foto 2020 VPP4The Formentera Department of Environment reports that this October the island began participation in VPP4Islands, an EU-funded consortium aimed at developing renewable energy. The aim of the project is to support the integration of renewable systems, accelerate the transition to smart and green energy and help islands in Europe leverage potential for energy efficiency.

Participation in the consortium will see Formentera working together with 19 member entities in eight countries to develop a four-year, 7.2-million-euro project, with the Consell receiving €358,000 in funding to promote related actions.

Environment chief Antonio J. Sanz described involvement in the project as “one more step toward the transition to zero emissions and a 100% sustainable island”. “VPP4Islands is on the same path as us”, asserted the conseller, who described current work on a plan to implement renewable energies — a scheme he anticipated would be operational in the coming months.

Self-supply and smart energy management
At the core of the VPP4Islands initiative are small interconnected renewable energy installations that store energy virtually. The project additionally promotes people’s active involvement in energy production, the ultimate goal being energy self-sufficiency. Sanz framed the project in terms of “promoting self-sufficiency and smart management of distributed energy resources”, “amplifying the yield of energy systems” and “creating new local business niches”.

Formentera helms the project together with the Turkish island of Bozcaada in the Aegean Sea. Gökçeada (Turkey), Bornholm (Denmark) and Grado (Italy) will participate as well, supporting work to collectively lauch sustainable smart energy plans.

29 October 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

New campaign encourages islanders to show support for breast cancer research by recycling glass

foto 2020 recicla per elles ecovidrioAlejandra Ferrer, Ana Juan and Antonio J. Sanz (the Consell de Formentera premiere, deputy premiere and environment chief, respectively) were joined today by Pepita Gabaldar, chair of the Formentera chapter of Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer, and Ecovidrio spokesman Iván Tolsà in unveiling “Recicla vidrio por ellas” (Recycle glass for them)—a campaign by the Spanish body in charge of glass recycling underscoring this week’s World Breast Cancer Day.

This week passersby in Sant Francesc’s Plaça de la Constitució have encountered two pink igloos which double as recycling bins for discarded glass. Money raised from donated glass will go to benefit the Sandra Ibarra Foundation for Cancer Solidarity — a non-profit which Mr Tolsà said works to fight cancer and promote breast cancer research.

Formentera’s environment chief shared his pleasure at being able to take part in the campaign, whose two-part objective he described as “collaborating on research and shaping awareness about the importance of recycling”. Sanz said one bottle recycled was equivalent to 300g in reduced C02 emissions — “a small gesture of support for the environment”, he declared.

Glass recycling on Formentera
Formentera recycled 971 tonnes of glass in 2019, or an average of 80.2kg per person. Scattered across the island are 82 recycling igloos — one for every 148 islanders.

As a symbol of awareness building and solidarity around breast cancer, “mini-gloos”, specially designed for the occasion by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, are emblazoned with the Sandra Ibarra Foundation’s motto, “Full of life”. The mini-gloos can be purchased at Miniglú.es, and proceeds will benefit the foundation’s support of breast cancer prevention and research.

“Recycle glass for them”, including more than 370 of the campaign’s trademark pink bins, is present in over 140 cities across Spain.

21 October 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

With €112K in available funding, call for Save Posidonia Project proposals draws eleven contenders

foto 2020 SPPAfter the original call for ideas was pushed back on account of the pandemic, the Formentera Department of Environment reports that eleven submissions were received in response to a call for Save Posidonia Project proposals. Applicants will compete for up to €112,000—the amount that was raised prior to December 2019.

The announcement was made as part of remarks by environment chief Antonio J. Sanz during Posidonia Networks 2020, a virtual forum whose attendees include leading European experts on the environment and one which is backed by the Balearic Ministry of Environment and the French Office of Biodiversity.

During a presentation in which the local environment chief portrayed the Consell-backed SPP as an increasingly well-established initiative since its launch in 2017, Sanz said that belated start aside, the overall picture —25 proposals in two years— was positive. “In a short period of time SPP has proven itself to be an invaluable tool in shaping awareness at the local and government level”, he said.

Forum attendees are intimately familiar with policy in the Balearic Islands, which stand at the forefront of legislation on posidonia conservation. That familiarity isn’t just a product of the Balearic Islands’ pioneering service to monitor ships anchored on local coastlines and educate crews about moorage regulations; it’s also due to extensive educational pushes on Formentera.

A pioneer framework project in the western Mediterranean, SPP sprang from an impulse within the Consell de Formentera to promote sustainable tourism and raise money that could be exclusively devoted to conservation of Posidonia oceanica.

In its first year, SPP gave €83,822 to the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) and €48,836 to the environmental advocates at GEN-GOB.

1 October 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell pushes forestry service to continue dustings to stop pine processionary

Formentera’s conseller for the environment, Antonio J. Sanz, petitioned the Balearic chief of natural spaces and biodiversity, Llorenç Mas, to move forward with spraying aimed at stemming local spread of the pine processionary — a measure that won cross-party support in the July plenary assembly of the Consell de Formentera.

Sanz was on hand at a gathering hosted today by the regional ministry of environment and land to appraise islanders of this year’s projected resumption of aerial dusting and to take stock of efforts to control the species’ growth on the island.

Sanz applauded “Herculean efforts by the ministry in recent years to combat the pest” and held up findings indicating the pine processionary’s numbers were up: not only have municipal crews captured ever increasing moths in the summer, they have also logged growing numbers of the caterpillar’s nests in wintertime, registering colonies beyond the initial concentration in Es Cap de Barbaria.

The pine processionary has expanded into Porto-salè, Sant Ferran de ses Roques, Cala en Baster, Es Mal Pas, Migjorn and Tramuntana — “likely due to restrictions on aerial dustings in protected natural spaces, areas dedicated to beekeeping and organic farming, marshes and other land near the coast where 100-metre buffer zones have been necessary”, said Formentera’s environment chief.

Noting that the contract on the pine processionary control strategy is set to expire this year if no extension is awarded, Sanz called for funding to the tune of €200,000 to ensure the effort could continue in 2021 and beyond.

29 September 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Info session on aerial spraying to curb pine processionary

The Consell de Formentera reports that at 11.00am tomorrow, Tuesday 29 September, the Healthy Forests Service of the Balearic Ministry of Environment and Land will host a video information session concerning the most recent in a series of dustings launched in 2017 to combat the pine processionary. Islanders interested in taking part in the session should send an email to sanitatforestal@caib.es.

Efforts to halt expansion of Thaumetopea pityocampa date to 2007 when the nuisance species was first detected on Formentera. One such strategy involves a biological phytosanitary product applied aerially in a treatment cycle that lasts four years. A helicopter equipped with an enhanced mode of the GPS system means the product, which is innocuous to bees and used in the treatment of other pests like mosquitos, can be released over pine groves in highly precise doses and according to fine-tuned extension parameters. Since 2017 treatment has involved double-dusting an area of Formentera covering 1,500 hectares. Timing of the dustings is calculated based on meteorological conditions such as temperature, wind, relative humidity and rain and the particular phase of development of the targetted larvae.

28 September 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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Formentera neta, naturalmet gràcies a valtros

Xarxa Natura de les Illes Balears

Punt d'Informació Ambiental

Balears Life Posidonia

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