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Islanders get early look at 'Posidonia Decree'

Foto presentacio decret posidoniaYesterday, Tuesday, June 20 at 8.00pm, the Palma administration's chief of natural spaces and biodiversity presented the draft version of its “Decret de Posidònia,” or Posidonia Decree. Speaking in the conference hall of the Formentera Council, Miquel Mir gave details about the document to a crowd assembled from Formentera's nautical sector, political party operatives, members of the island's small and medium-sized business association (PIMEF) and a host of community leaders and neighbours.

Also on hand was environment councillor Daisee Aguilera, who listened to islanders and pledged to distill their opinions as the Council drafts its suggestions for the decree. Among the most pressing issues, she said, is getting detailed cartographical readings that can insure up-to-date nautical maps. “More often that not,” the councillor explained, “the harm that's being done stems from a lack of information on the part of captains”. She called for posidonia meadows to be included in global navigation devices' nautical cartography and emphasised “clearly-worded penalties for distinct watercraft” as crucial to facilitating the work of authorities as they attempt to press charges on illegal anchoring.

Attendees backed a proposal to block exemptions for boats whose crews claim a particular posidonia swath isn't visible or doesn't appear on maps. Swelling numbers of boats pulling up at Formentera's coast—a figure that can surpass one thousand in high season—were cited as an additional idea came forth: to limit authorisations for boats that seek to drop anchor. Councillor Aguilera nevertheless expressed her thanks to the Govern balear for engaging the community in shaping the decree.

The text aims to protect posidonia oceanica and marine fauna that make their home within it by regulating activities that impact the plant and its habitat.

Patrol boat
Miquel Mir highlighted the deployment of a boat to surveil and advise watercraft that anchor across Eivissa and Formentera's waters. The patrol boat will be operative until July 1, when the anchoring advisory service is scheduled to activate a six-boat brigade in Es Caló, Ses Salines nature reserve and Cala Saona.

Formentera's fresh crop of accredited artisans

Construccio paret pedra secaThe Formentera Council's Office of Trade has reported that six craftworkers have been granted accreditation as artisans and one as master artisan. Both credentials, Carta Artesana and Carta de Mestre Artesà, certify an individual as apt to take part in craft markets and specialty festivals, while the latter also accredits a minimum of ten years' experience and ability to give classes in one's area of expertise.

The master artisan's card was awarded to Javier Alvarez de Lara, specialist in dry stone wall construction. Recipients of the standard artisan's card included Carolina Yuste and Mónica López, both endorsed as artisan object decorators; Alba Maria Álvarez, who received her card specialising in pepes (fabric dolls); Miguel Morey is authorised to work as a fine carpenter; Helena Maria Amaral as a leatherworker and Maria Isabel Escandell as a coppersmith.

Tests were administered by the Formentera Council's technical team on craftwork assessment. To date on Formentera, there are ten people accredited as master artisans and 64 as standard artisans.

Rollout of pilot compost collection programme in Sant Francesc

Foto rp materia organicaCiF environment councillor Daisee Aguilera, alongside heads of the Rezero foundation and the Leader group, Rosa García and Pep Martínez, respectively, presented a pilot programme for compost collection in Sant Francesc.

Fifty area establishments considered large-scale waste generators—bars, cafés, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, the Formentera hospital and a nursery school among them—will take part in the four-month trial, which began yesterday. Participants have been supplied with small, specially-designed bins that door-to-door collection crews will empty every evening.

According to Councillor Aguilera, organisers hope the endeavour will lead to collection of some 300 tonnes of organic waste, which will then be composted locally and used as fertiliser across Formentera fields. The €80,000 pilot programme, paid for primarily by the Formentera Council, will also receive €32,000 in funding from Leader.

Rezero, the waste-prevention firm heading up the project, has indicated the undertaking will mean savings of €60,000, the cost of shipping waste to Eivissa. Data from the trial phase will be used to study expansion of compost collection to other parts of the island.

Torre des Pi des Català restoration nabs European Award for Architectural Heritage Intervention's special mention

Torre des pi des catala retalladaLocal architect Marià Castelló's project to restore Es Pi des Català defence tower, an initiative that moved forward thanks to backing from the Formentera Council, garnered the European Award for Architectural Heritage Intervention's special mention. A distinction given by the Col·legi Oficial d'Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC), the Agrupació d'Arquitectes per la Defensa i la Intervenció del Patrimoni Arquitectònic (AADIPA) and the Generalitat de Catalunya, Catalunya's regional government, the honour was bestowed in a ceremony that took place yesterday afternoon at the COAC's head office. A panel of jurors credited Castelló with “precision, simplicity and effectiveness” in his delivery of the remodel.

CiF president Jaume Ferrer and patrimony councillor Susana Labrador congratulated Castelló on the honour. According to Labrador, praise for the project's respectful treatment of the Es Pi des Català heritage site was “particularly exciting since the Council's goal, from the start, was to preserve the tower as an essential feature of local heritage and make sure everyone who wanted to could enjoy it”.

First prize went to another project dealing with man-made buildings as patrimony: the conversion of Convento das Bernardas, in Tavira (Portugal), by architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. One of the world's leading lights in terms of architecture, Souto de Moura received the Pritzker prize (architecture's equivalent of the Nobel) in 2011.

On completion in 2016, Es Pi des Català tower became Formentera's first defence tower equipped to receive visits. It is open on Saturdays 10.00am to 1.00pm.

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