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‘Only special help from Madrid can solve the dilemma of Formentera’s triple insularity’

foto-reunio---vicenc---vidalpdConsell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer met with Vicenç Vidal today at local government offices, thanking the Balearic senator for the chance to meet and taking the opportunity to impress on the senator the island’s principal appeals in the hope Vidal convey them to the government in Madrid.

Among the issues raised was the “Special Balearic Regime” (Règim Especial de les Balears, or REB) to unlock extra funding for islands like Formentera in a situation of triple insularity. Ferrer placed rubbish transport costs among other financial costs deserving of consideration. She also appealed to the senator to seek Madrid’s help for the autonomous regions and individual municipalities in efforts to reach 2030 Agenda goals, fight climate change and assist in the energy transition.

The Balearic senator pledged “particular care for Formentera, particularly because the island lacks its own senator”, and noted the latter point featured in discussion as well. He insisted the island deserved “special sensitivity on issues related to our national coasts”, calling for “a more careful handling in view of their acute impact on the island”.

President Ferrer described “a new challenge that requires new solutions”: foreign unaccompanied minors. If, as Ferrer insisted, Madrid’s involvement is crucial to the autonomous regions and island councils obtaining needed measures and resources, “they also need to be working to solve this problem at its source”. The senator agreed on the need for unity around the issue of migrants, calling it “a new challenge, and one we need to move forward on”, while also asserting that “guarantees will be necessary”.

The officials also spoke about the importance of investment in the next 12 months in mature tourism areas, as well as reductions in air and maritime travel costs and, according to President Ferrer, “the very specific needs of Formentera residents, as a people—including enjoying the same ability of movement as our fellow islanders and countrywomen and men”.

14 November 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

With wide-ranging programme, Formentera joins global day rejecting violence against women

foto-rp-vio-gen1Vanessa Parellada, consellera of Formentera’s equality department, was joined this morning by staffer Azucena Carrasco and the head of local women’s group Espai Dones, Dolores Fernández Tamargo, in unveiling the activities programme lined up in celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

First up, this Monday, it’s the 8.00pm opening in the Sala d’Exposicions of Ame Soler’s show, Tres voltes rebel. The illustrator’s art speaks to the injustices and inequality that affect women.

Things keep going on Wednesday with a 7.00pm discussion in the Sala d’Actes of local government offices. Psychologist Belén Alvite encourages participants to ponder whether porn constitutes the ideal sexual education, offering tools for talking about sex with teens, so young people can get more nuanced insight than is possible on the web.

At 9.30pm and 8.00pm on Friday 22 November and Sunday 24 November, respectively, the Sala de Cultura-Cinema will host screenings of Les invisibles. Louis-Julien Petit’s full-length feature approaches women’s inequality with humour.

25 November
An extra special programme is in store for Monday 25 November, the official International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Representatives of the Re-Acció programme of the Balearic women’s institute, IBdona, will mount an information stand at 5.00pm in Sant Francesc’s plaça de la Constitució, encouraging islanders to add their voices to the social pledge to stop gender violence. At 5.30pm, a gathering will be called for the reading of the day’s manifesto, opening and closing to the rhythm of a drum circle. After that, there will be a performance by students of the Eivissa-Formentera conservatory.

Finally, Wednesday 27 November at 7.30pm, IBdona will screen a 27-minute documentary titled Prostitució i tracta: Qüestió de poder. IBdona’s director, Maria Duran i Febrer, will be on hand at the event, together with the chief of the equality department and the Espai Dones chairwoman. A colloquium will follow and educational materials will be handed out. All activities are free.

Consellera Parellada insisted that the struggle to end violence involves all of us, and saluted Espai Dones for its work educating islanders. For her part, Fernández affirmed that real equality takes a real fight, and said that the 2019 activities programme is “one way to raise awareness”.

14 November 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell removes architectural barriers from eight pedestrian walkways in Sant Francesc

elminacio---barreres-arquitect1The island services department of the Consell de Formentera reports that work has already begun on a month-long, €36,390 effort to remove hurdles to mobility, often referred to as “architectural barriers”, from eight pedestrian walkways in Sant Francesc.

Pavement will be graded at a total of 13 points—four by the Antoni Blanc fitness centre and Sa Miranda nursery, two on Avinguda Vuit d’Agost near Marc Ferrer high school, and two at the Berenger Renart juncture on Avinguda Pla del Rei.

Island services consellera Paula Ferrer counted making roads universally accessible among the administration’s key priorities. She also pointed out that upgrades were happening in places where people with reduced mobility had requested them, and that the changes were part of the island’s “Sustainable Mobility Strategy” (Pla de Mobilitat Sostenible).

14 November 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Two Formentera pupils snag prizes for work on water cycle

entrega-premis-aqualia1Two pupils from local primary schools —CEIP Sant Ferran de ses Salines's Pablo Wenham Martínez and Ana Burches, of CEIP Mestre Lluís Andreu— have been named finalists in seventeenth Concurs Digital Infantil (Digital Kids Contest). The contest is put on by Aqualia, which implements Formentera's municipal water service. The two children’s drawings were picked from a pool of over 7,200 submissions from Spanish cities where Aqualia provides service. All told, 250 children were celebrated for their work.

Alejandra Ferrer and Susana Labrador, Formentera's president and culture conseller, respectively, were joined by the head of Aqualia's operations on the island, Maria del Mar Yern, in applauding the pair’s achievement and presenting each artist with a smartwatch. President Ferrer saluted Aqualia for its initiative and said local schools deserved praise too for taking part in the contest, which works to educate children about the importance of a resource which, according to the president, "is as scarce as it is vital".

Organisers say the competition’s overlap with World Water Day is no accident, and describe the idea behind the competition as “getting kids thinking about managing the water cycle responsibly, and about the hard work that goes into bringing it into people's homes, not to mention cycling it back out in a way that’s sustainable”.

The year three and four pupils who took part in this year's contest learned the ropes as researchers, pinpointing the source of the water we consume every day, then figuring out where it goes when we've finished using it. To that end, a website called "Water Investigators" (www.investigatorsdelaigua.cat) offered children vast educational materials about managing the whole water cycle, including a special section on the Sustainable Development Goals and Aqualia's commitment to the 2030 Agenda.

13 November 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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