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Formentera hopes to tap sustainable tourism levy for nautical sports centre build and bid to regulate moorage at Estany des Peix

foto estany des peixCounci officials have unveiled two projects they intend to fund with the island's yearly plan to promote sustainable tourism in 2018. The projects —construction of the island's nautical sports center (CEN for its initials in Catalan) and regulation of Estany des Peix— will cost a combined €1.4 million.

Estany des Peix
The plan to install pontoons and low-impact moorage points is guided by a logic of restoring the lake's natural environmental conditions by encouraging orderly, regulated mooring of boats. The bipartisan proposal is aimed at meeting a demand for the service which typically spikes in summer. Regulated moorage has been identified as vital to ongoing use of traditional small drydocks and preservation of natural surroundings.

Given the project's alignment with the key priorities of “Landscapes, conservation and education about environmental-interest sites”set out in the island's annual sustainable tourism strategy for 2018, Council officials are asking to use money from the sustainable tourism tax to finance the €652,156 investment (VAT included).

Nautical Sports Centre
The Nautical Sports Centre build and relocation of the island's municipal sailing school are aimed at tempering the summer-heavy focus of tourism and, at the same time, bolster the amount of “active nautical tourism” available in the low season. Plans are also in place to leverage the public space for educational initiatives concerning the environment inland and at sea.

The project squares with the sustainable tourism strategy's objective of “Acqusition, protection, preservation, modernisation and recuperation of natural, rural and marine environments”, which is why Council officials hope to tap funds from the sustainable tourism levy to pay the €764,433 price tag (VAT included).

Two hundred plus local homes and businesses now have fibre optic connection

foto fibra optica reunioThe Formentera Council officials, together with representatives of Telefónica and Teleco, the company responsible for equipping the island for fibre optic internet, met this week to coordinate the work teams that will drive the rollout of Formentera's fibre optic network.

The gathering, attended by CiF new technologies secretary Rafael González as well as other Council staff and spokepeople from Telefónica and Teleco, was an opportunity for the officials to review the current state of local operations.

Today, 215 businesses and individuals have signed up for the service. The network has already been mounted in Sant Francesc, the island's industrial park and es Pujols, and efforts are under way to extend the service to la Savina and Sant Ferran by October.

González applaued Telefónica's initiative in underwriting the rollout of fibre optic, “which has made high-speed internet a reality today in 215 homes and businesses”. He also pointed up the collaboration between the local administration and Telefónica and Teleco as crucial to the project's“seamless execution”.

Other areas of concern
Administration officials raised the question of setting up a local point of sale and information kiosk, as well as precisions regarding the efforts under way to put an end to the temporary cuts that have dogged the service in the past. The issue of safeguards for the underwater cable in Cala Saona was also raised. Telefónica reps made note of the questions and, with regard to the cable, said a signalling system had already been installed to help prevent breakage.

Care recipients at island's day centre lend hand preparing for Que Celeste festival

foto-cdd-que-celeste-3Islanders at Formentera's dependent care facility, or centre de dia, are teaming up this week with members of environmental group Que Celeste to repurpose some of the found objects that surfaced during the group's coastal cleanups at ses Illetes, es Carnatge and es Ram.

The idea is to give a new, decorative use to various objects through a kind of “artistic recycling” aimed at fostering creativity and personal autonomy among individuals at the day centre.

Participants are rebranding discarded plastic bottles as jellyfish which will function as decorative lights at the upcoming Que Celeste festival. Organisers of the festival, which is scheduled to take over Sant Ferran's church-front plaza September 21 and 22, say the event is about educating islanders and tourists about the importance of preserving and caring for the environment.

Formentera mounts HiSun Point for UV-ray protection

foto HiSun Point 3This Tuesday, Formentera became the first island in the Pityusic archipelago to count among its possessions a machine known as the HiSun Point. The centrepiece of the project, which is headed up by the regional chapter of Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer and Majorcan firm Hi Services (hi-services.es), is an exclusively-designed modular structure combining cutting-edge dermatological diagnosis technology with educational outreach and care.

Equipped with an interactive touch screen, the device features a built-in programme to determine users' skin phototype, link to real-time UV ray data in the area, and offer tips on risk-free enjoyment of the sun's rays. Colour-coded “solar traffic signals” give information about various types of sun exposure and UV radiation risks.

The Council's acting chair, Susana Labrador, described the effort to provide clear information on staying safe from the sun and UV rays as“part of giving islanders and tourists the tools to properly care for their health”.

The HiSun Point is free to use, functions autonomously and will remain in Sant Francesc until year end, when officials will review whether to leave the device where it is or opt for another location. Assembly and rental of the equipment cost nearly eleven thousand euros, VAT not included.

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