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Formentera counts vehicles on highways

imatge-carretera-de-la-mola fo1The Consell de Formentera Mobility Department reports that, from 1 to 12 August, a surveying firm specialised in automated and manual vehicle tallies has been charged with studying how islanders get around the island (walking, cycling, public transport, personal vehicles) and how they are using parking areas.

The effort—one part of the local Sustainable Mobility Strategy—is the second such survey and tally in two years, and will be employed, said department head Rafael González, “to assess this summer's pioneer regulation scheme”.

Data on vehicle ingress and exit will be available when the period of regulation (July and August) concludes. According to González, those figures will be used, along with findings from the current research, “to asses how things have gone this season, and lay the groundwork for the one ahead”.

“So far”, said González, “we know the total number of vehicles on Formentera roads in July 2019 has remained below the same figure from 2018”. He pointed out that, on average, 19,183 cars were cleared to be driven on the island during the first half of the month, compared to 19,880 during the second.

In the final two weeks of July, clearance was extended to 1,428 tourists who brought a personal vehicle with them; to 8,851 tourists who rented a vehicle on the island; to 8,048 Formentera residents and to 1,553 owners of second homes on Formentera, local businesses, freight companies and others.

Quad-free roads
González also said his department would request a report from island law enforcement confirming the absence on local roads of quads. (New regulations prohibit drivers from renting them locally or bringing them onto the island.) Formentera Local Police recently issued a statement that no quads were observed during the seven days before 22 July. González held it up as proof that car hire companies are complying with the new rules, and hailed their efforts.

Complete the quick and easy request for clearance to operate a vehicle during the remainder of August at www.formentera.eco.

6 August 2019
Communication Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell backs Formenterers Solidaris' charitable projects in 2019

foto-signatura-conveni-forment1Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer sat down today with the chair of Formenterers Solidaris, Maria Costa, to sign an agreement between the administration and the local NGO on cooperation projects to support development in developing countries, education and social assistance on the island in 2019.

As part of the deal, the organisation pledges to create and administer cooperation and development projects for developing countries; host lectures, round tables, forums, exhibits and conferences; pay for equipment, material and supplies associated with regular operations; stage food and fundraising drives to collect items to be sent to places in need; administer food packages provided by the Consell de Formentera and support individuals on the island with the most pressing social needs.

The Consell de Formentera pledges €3,000 to meet the costs associated with the actions included in the annual agreement. Social welfare councillor Rafael Ramírez and the organisation's secretary, Teresa Costa, were also present at the signing, which took place 1 August in Consell offices.

2 August 2019
Communication department
Consell de Formentera

Sustainability at core of new Save Posidonia Project initiative

foto-spp gen-gob1Alejandra Ferrer, Antonio J Sanz and Josep Marí—the president/tourism councillor, environment councillor and primary sector councillor, respectively, of the Consell de Formentera—led today's unveiling of the first-ever push for scientist volunteers. Piloted by nature advocacy group GEN-GOB, the effort is one of two (the other is IMEDEA's Antroposi) that, in 2017, Save Posidonia Project's evaluating committee elected to fund for a two-year run.

President Ferrer traced SPP's origins to the determination within the Consell to promote sustainable tourism and build funding to preserve Posidonia oceanica and educate residents and tourists about the effort. Ferrer pointed out that the project would offer “clearer data about the current state of preservation of this crucial local plant”.

Geolocating coastal impact
The environmental group's €48,836 study involves pinpointing the spots where the seagrass suffers the most intense impact, not to mention gauging the health of posidonia meadows where boats anchor. GEN-GOB's activities coordinator, Marià Marí, pointed out that “one of the things we'll be doing is training students of marine science to study, order and superintend underwater habitats on Formentera's coastline”.

The presentation took place at la Savina port alongside the sailboat Ryujin (El Drac de la Mar). There, from 24 July to 5 August, volunteers from Albacete, Alacant, Murcia, Madrid and Cádiz are on hand to learn the theory and practical aspects of the scientific methodology used by the GEN-GOB marine department to record and evaluate the ecological health of seagrass meadows, impact of mooring watercraft, and other possible strain on the coast.

Inter-guild partnerships
SOLDECOCOS (a shortening of “Society for the Development of Coastal Communities”) is also collaborating in the project by offering use of its boat. The organisation's strategic director, Jorge Sáez, seized the opportunity to present the president of the local fisherman's guild, Iván Pérez, with gifts to initiate a cooperative partnership with a federation of similar guilds in Cádiz.

As a symbol of the will to work together between communities of the Mediterranean Basin, the Cádiz town council presented President Ferrer with salt from the Cádiz salterns and a bottle of virgin olive oil.

1 August 2019
Communication department
Consell de Formentera

Officials visit la Mola neighbourhood scorched by flames

visita-zona-afectada-incendi l1Today at noon, Alejandra Ferrer, Antonio J Sanz and Josep Marí—the administration's president, environment councillor and interior councillor, respectively—paid a visit to the area in la Mola that was hit yesterday by fire. Firefighters were redeployed to the scene this morning to sweep the area of farmland, known as Can Puig, where flames were reported shortly after ten p.m. last night.

Councillor Marí said the effort was carried out with the help of 6 CiF firefighters, 2 crew members of the Balearic forestry service and 15 Civil Protection volunteers. Each group had its own pickup, and in the case of the CiF fire brigade, they had two fire engines as well. Local law enforcement was also on hand, as were officers of la Savina's Policia Portuària. Crews had controlled the blaze by 12 midnight; three hours later, it was declared totally extinguished. Roughly three hectares of farmland were burned.

The Guardia Civil will now initiate an investigation, though early evidence suggests a lamp post was possibly the cause of the flames. President Ferrer announced she'd wait for confirmation of such causation before “holding Endesa, who are responsible for maintaining this part of la Mola's electric grid, to account for the damages”. Ferrer indicated she would also ask the power company to perform a check of the entire installation to ensure that “something as dangerous as what we had last night in la Mola doesn't happen again”.

Ferrer gave thanks to emergency response teams for their fast action: “Despite strong winds and the absence of light”—a fact she said had ruled out any air intervention—“our team of firefighters and volunteers was able to win this fight. We'd be looking at an entirely different set of circumstances had the flames reached the forest”.

No homes were evacuated as a result of the blaze. Ferrer thanked residents of the area for their cooperation.

1 August 2019
Communication department
Consell de Formentera

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