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Council rolls out push to remove nests laid by pine processionary caterpillar

Processionaria redux1On Monday January 7 the Formentera Council's environment office rolled out a new initiative to control infestation on the island of the invasive caterpillar known as the pine processionary. The administration is bringing in a pair of professional forest service workers to administer a treatment strategy based on the manual and mechanical removal —and subsequent controlled burning— of the processionary's nests, or “tents”. In 2019 the expected cost of the programme is €5,500 (VAT included).

Locals lending a hand

Islanders wishing to report newly-detected nests to Council personnel have three ways to do it: sending GPS info via smart-phone app Línea Verde; phoning the CiF environment office at 971.32.12.10 or writing the office an email ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

The push is coordinated in tandem with the regional ministry of environment and is part of a strategy to control the pine processionary's spread that was requested by the Formentera Council following the passage of related measures by Formentera's Consell d'Entitats and a subsequent vote by the island's plenary assembly. Two other groups, the Balearic healthy forests' division (Ibanat) and environmental service agents (whose title is abbreviated to “AMA”), are also participating in the initiative.

The Govern balear is concurrently overseeing air dustings by helicopter with a pest-control agent called Bacillus thuringiensis. The next is scheduled for October.

Department head Daisee Aguilera pointed out that drops in pine processionary tents have been registered in areas receiving treatment while, on the stretch of land 50 metres inland from the island's coastline where aeral dusting is prohibited, new tents have been reported. Aguilera said the data gave weight to the “argument in favour of aereal spraying and of the need for continued manual and mechanical clearing of the pests' tents”.

Formentera schools applauded as pupils envision 'plastic-free nature'

foto sense plastic 2Prizes were dispatched today to the Formentera schools taking part in a contest, Per a una natura sense plàstic, that reflects a dream of seeing a world in which nature is “plastic free”. The contest, which grows out of a partnership between the Formentera Council and Trasmapi, was open to first and second year students of the island's three public schools.

The contest seeks to promote, under the banner “You are an important part of change” (Tu ets important per al canvi), earth-smart recycling practices among young islanders to impact future generations' sense of urgency behind sustainable plastics use and wholesale reduction in everyday life.

Classroom clinics served as pupils' chance to learn about the environment and recycling. They drew in a special workbook and played Kahoot, a game which, to win, participants had to respond correctly to a series of ten questions about plastics.

Three collection bins installed across the island several months ago were relocated to the schools creating the possibility for school children to learn the ropes by using them for themselves.

The end of the contest dovetailed with the bins' rollout across the island and the swappable “eco-points” programme. In the months since it began, our wonder kids have recycled 15,818 plastic bottles and cans.

Quantity recycled (per bin):

• Sant Ferran (Carrer de Sant Jaume) – 4,274 recyclable containers (3,522 bottles/752 cans)
• El Pilar de la Mola – 2,780 recyclable containers (2,315 bottles/465 cans)
• Es Pujols (info stand) – 777 recyclable containers (608 bottles/169 cans)
• Sant Francesc (Eroski supermarket) – 2,270 recyclable containers (1,998 bottles/272 cans)
• Sant Francesc (CEIP Mestre Lluís Andreu) – 5,717 recyclable containers (5,014 bottles/703 cans)

Schools were awarded the following prizes:

Most Recycled Material – Mestre Lluís Andreu (1ºB)
First Prize, Kahoot – La Mola
Second Prize, Kahoot – Mestre Lluís Andreu (2ºA)
Most Original Drawing – Sant Ferran (1ºA)
Most Be Blue Drawing – Mestre Lluís Andreu (2ºB)
Motivational Prize – Sant Ferran (1ºB)

The award for most recyclables collected overall went to Mestre Lluís Andreu.

Classes received prizes based on an array of environment-related and green awareness activities, like classes held aboard Trasmapi boats, a day dedicated to “recycling motivators”, a parent-child outing at sea and visits to the recycling plants of Formentera and Eivissa.

Formentera pupils get woke with help of plastics campaign

foto sense plasticThe Formentera Council reports that, as part of the environment offices' support of “Be Blue. Trasmapi Formentera Care Project” and with the collaboration of an array of businesses and groups, local schools are gearing up to host “Towards a nature without plastic”, a competition that seeks to educate local children about plastic waste and using recycling bins to dispose of plastics.

The classroom clinics will be kids' chance to learn about the environment and recycling as they draw in an associated workbook and play Kahoot, a game which, to win, participants must correctly answer ten questions about plastics. Three collection bins installed on the island in recent months have been relocated to the schools so that youngsters can try them out for themselves and get in the habit.

While the contest is only open to year one and two pupils in la Mola and Sant Ferran and their counterparts at Mestre Lluís Andreu in Sant Francesc, everyone at the schools can use the recycling bins. Data from the individual bins will be parsed to determine which of the schools managed to recycle the most.

”Out of Plastic” hits Formentera

cartel-outofplastic1At 6.00pm this Monday, November 26, La Casa del Poble in La Mola will screen the documentary Out of Plastic.

The documentary explores the wide-ranging impact of plastics in the Mediterranean.

Shot in the Balearics, the film is a vehicle for reflection on the preponderance of plastics in our everyday lives and natural environment. Visually stunning, Out of Plastic shows spectacular landscapes and the mystic depths of the ocean —the meeting point of man and nature— and seeks to show how our excessive reliance on single-use plastics has tipped the scales against nature and, ultimately, our own kind.

The winning conceit of the documentary is to let nature speak for itself, elegantly marshalling timeless and arresting landscape shots, panoramic vistas and images of marine life. 

Es Trucadors wins back natural edge

foto es Trucadors 4The Formentera Council's environment department reports that nearly 35 volunteers gathered Saturday morning to take part in a day of educational outreach and environmental action, clearing human-made mounds of stones from Es Trucadors.

The day got going at 10.30am and was finished by 2.00pm. Nearby nature reserve staff and fauna specialists helped familiarise volunteers with the steps to follow in dismantling the rock piles depending on the stones in question. Some, they were told, should to be taken to the waterline while others, which serve as refuges for tiny invertebrates and other species inhabiting the area, were to be left inland.

Volunteers worked in groups and formed two chains, the human links rotating to cover the area where most of the piles littered the landscape.

A team of individuals from the regional nature institute (Ibanat), environmental defence group Gen-Gob, Formentera Sense Plastic, Ses Salines nature reserve staff and management and the Formentera Council joined volunteers at the event.

CiF environment secretary Daisee Aguilera hailed the efforts of the people, groups and offices of the public administration that joined in and “helped restore the area to its original natural beauty”. The secretary noted that Es Trucadors, which sits smack in the middle of Ses Salines nature reserve, whose exposure to wind and waves makes particularly susceptible to erosion. Those same weather conditions are behind the strange and unique coastal features that are one of the reserve's defining characteristics—and the reason it is vulnerable to even subtle changes.

At the end of the day crews planted a sign encouraging future visitors to leave stones where they find them and pointing to the space's fragility in explaining how changes to the landscape can hurt flora and fauna.

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