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Formentera's craft workers receive accreditation

Foto entrega diplomes artesansEarlier today, Jaume Ferrer and Alejandra Ferrer, the president and trade secretary of the Formentera Council, presented six local artisans with accreditation as artisans and one as master artisan.

As the secretary pointed out, currently, there are 80 individuals on the island with cards certifying them to work as artisans. Secretary Ferrer says that makes for better markets and puts craftspeople in a position to display and sell their work locally.

The “Artisan Card” (Carta Artesana) authorises its holder to vend in craft markets and attend specialist industry events. The “Master Artisan Card” (Carta de Mestre Artesà) certifies its holder has a minimum of ten years' experience in his or her speciality and is capable of offering classes on the subject.

Javier Álvarez de Lara received the Master Artisan Card as a specialist in dry-stone walls. Carolina Yuste and Mónica López received their Artisan Cards specialising in object decoration. Alba Maria Álbarez is now accredited to produce her handmade cloth dolls, or pepes, and Miguel Morey is qualified as a fine carpenter. Helena Maria Amaral and Maria Isabel Escandell obtained the Artisan Card too, the former as a leatherworker and the latter as a coppersmith.

Formentera Council issues permit for new schools in Sant Ferran

Foto escola SFerranEarlier today a government committee of the Formentera Council rubber-stamped a permit for construction of the Sant Ferran primary school and early-learning centre. The buildings will go up on a lot handed over by the administration in 2012.

Council president Jaume Ferrer expressed his satisfaction at having held up the administration's end of the bargain and “done everything possible to make the new schools a reality”. Noting that the government in Palma has already set aside funding for the project, Ferrer quipped the Council was “confident construction will begin soon” and called the project one of the Council's top priorities this legislative session.

In plenary session on September 29, the Council voted to change municipal regulations after the high court of the Balearic Islands ruled the demarcation of Formentera's historical town centres lacked the necessary justification and that protocol had not been properly followed in the process. By adjusting the regulatory code, the moratorium on construction inside historic centres was lifted, allowing permits to be issued on projects like the new schools in Sant Ferran.

First stage of harbour upgrades set to begin in November

Visita apb 2Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer met today with Balearic port authority chief Joan Gual de Torrella at the Casa del Mar building in la Savina. Bartomeu Escandell and Rafael González, the secretaries of the president's office and infrastructure, respectively, were joined by other officials and staff specialists from both administrations.

Gual de Torrella announced the first phase of upgrades the la Savina port would start in November and be completed before next summer. The initial part of the undertaking, which will include improvements on car parks north of la Savina's port, where the lighthouse is located, will optimise the flow of passengers and vehicles through the harbour. The project also involves upgrades of roads and pedestrian zones in the port's service areas. The winning bid put the project's estimated cost at €599,811 before taxes.

According to the port authority chief, improvements are also planned for the fisherman's wharf, including modernising the crown wall and asphalting the wharf, during those same dates. Together, the two projects are expected to cost €457,154 and €137,187, respectively.

Looking ahead, Gual de Torrella pointed to November 2018 plans for part two of the upgrades: the la Savina waterfront. Specialists and senior officials from the Council and the port spoke today about what those projects would look like.

For his part, President Ferrer welcomed both the news of the November start date and the projected pre-summer completion, which, he noted, the Council had initially requested. Ferrer applauded the Balearic port agency for seeking the Council's buy-in on the harbour upgrades, “a sign of respect for the ideas that our Council and our neighbours have for la Savina and for the island”.

Spain's Red Eléctrica adopts 6,000-sq.-m. stretch of posidonia meadows

Posidonia oceana-juan cuetosRed Eléctrica de España, which operates the country's electricity grid, has agreed to adopt 6,000 square metres (m2) of posidonia meadows, part of the Formentera Council-backed Save Posidonia Project. With their €6,000 donation, Red Eléctrica lend support to an initiative designed to fund posidonia conservation projects.

Tourism secretary Alejandra Ferrer applauded Red Eléctrica for helping the Council on a project originally created by the administration to highlight the year of sustainable tourism. The goal, said Ferrer, is to bring the message of sustainability across to tourists and residents to ensure that future generations can continue enjoying our island.

Sponsored so far: 89,349m2
Red Eléctrica's contribution brings the current total of protected posidonia meadows to over eighty-nine thousand square metres. Donations received from private citizens and businesses to November 1 will go to benefit projects designed to protect posidonia. Visit https://www.saveposidoniaproject.org/es/ to adopt one square metre for one euro.

Representatives of the company say that preserving posidonia is part of a broader commitment to sustainability, fighting climate change and promoting biodiversity. The operators of Spain's power grid and sole administrators of the country's transport network hold up their operations developing and servicing underwater power cables as a model to follow in protecting the plant, which is native to the Mediterranean and immensely important to the local ecosystem.

Together with IMEDEA, Red Eléctrica spearheaded a push to safeguard the underwater plant posidonia oceanica with a cutting-edge strategy to collect and sow posidonia seeds and cuttings in an effort to rehabilitate damaged meadows. The project ran from 2014 to 2016 in the bays of Santa Ponça on Mallorca and Talamanca on Eivissa and ultimately led researchers to determine the technical and financially viability of such efforts.

Company representatives said a partnership with the Govern balear's ministry of environment was behind the recent printing of thirty thousand pamphlets. The educational material is intended to raise awareness about proper anchorage and prevent damage to seagrass meadows or undersea power lines.

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