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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Environment

Consell joins Saturday’s ‘Earth Hour’ by cutting lights in Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran

cartell 2021 hora planetaThe Formentera Department of Environment is adding its name to “Earth Hour”, a global campaign for environmental awareness, by pledging to hit the lights at the Sant Ferran and Sant Francesc churches and the municipal funeral parlour. The blackout will take place Saturday 27 March from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.

The World Wide Fund for Nature-helmed event aims to encourage people and government institutions to turn off the lights in homes and particularly visible buildings in major cities across the world — a statement about the importance of environmental safeguards and responses to climate change. Details about the campaign can be found at www.horadelplaneta.es.

25 March 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Reminder: oversize rubbish and hasardous waste must be taken to Deixalleria

foto 2021 taca oli BThe Formentera Department of Environment reminds islanders that garden clippings, household appliances, batteries, mattresses and any other refuse material unfit for streetside bins can be disposed of for free at Formentera’s household waste disposal centre. The Deixalleria opens Monday to Saturday 9.00am to 1.30pm, and afternoons Monday to Friday 3.30pm to 5.30pm. Pickup of appliances, old furniture and outsize rubbish is also available by calling 900.102.656.

This weekend Consell de Formentera cleaning services were dispatched to clean motor oil, a hasardous waste, left beside bins on carrer s’Espalmador in Es Pujols. The FDE reminds islanders that improper dumping is punishable by fines of between €150 and €1,745,000.

15 March 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Conclusions of SPP-winner ‘Antroposi’ made public

foto 2021 presentacio imedea 1The Formentera offices of tourism and environment report that the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (Imedea) took to the Internet yesterday to share conclusions from its study of the impact of drainage pipes, moorage and other human activity during the Anthropocene on meadows of posidonia seagrass. “Antroposi” won €83,821.54 in 2017 after it was named one of the winners of the inaugural edition of the Consell de Formentera-backed Save Posidonia Project.

Consell de Formentera premiere and tourism chief Alejandra Ferrer praised Imedea, the Formentera offices of tourism and environment and all those who participated in SPP by adopting square metres of seagrass meadows. “SPP came about as a way to use marketing around Formentera’s environmental engagement to get businesses and regular people involved in protecting our natural surroundings”, said Ferrer, “islanders and tourists alike had to be familiarised with the issue to understand why protecting posidonia and our local habitat mattered”. She insisted real progress would take a great deal of inter-agency coordination, but said safeguarding the seagrass was “a quality of life issue, and ultimately, an economic one too”.

For his part, Antonio J Sanz applauded the efforts of Imedea researchers: “They are helping us understand the science behind what’s happening to our posidonia meadows, and insight they share will be invaluable as our local government —the closest to ground-zero on this issue— works to protect this element of our natural heritage.”

Imedea researcher Iris Hendricks presented conclusions from over a year’s worth of research that focused on various swaths of nearby seafloor in seeking to understand how humans affect the seagrass when they release sewage into the water or anchor on or navigate above posidonia meadows.

Effect of sewage pipes on Posidonia oceanica
Researchers compared seagrass near a sewage pipe, where levels of inorganic nutrients are high, with seagrass located at some distance (the control) and determined after one year of monitoring that the former exhibited 24% less growth. Rates of nitrogen and carbon particle sedimentation were also greater nearer to the pipes — 6.2 and 9.5 times higher, respectively. The researchers concluded that the source of nitrogen was indeed the pipes, and that nearby seagrass was storing the nitrogen in its tissue.

The researchers were also able to determine that ambient light and thus photosynthesis rates were similar near and far from the effluent pipes, concluding that sewage in the water did not impede photosynthesis by blocking light.

As for large watercraft like ferries, researchers determined that their passage was to blame for increased levels of turbulence and sedimentation in meadows near Es Freus.

€112,000 for next SPP winners
The most recent edition SPP has been allocated €112,000, funding which is currently in the final stages of approval. Eleven proposals were received, and the expected winner would look at the impact of “emergent pollutants” on Formentera’s posidonia meadows. “Since SPP launched 252,000 square metres of seagrass have been adopted”, said the environment chief, who asserted that with 76.5 million square metres of posidonia in adjacent seabed, “there’s still plenty left that can be adopted”.

President Ferrer insisted in her closing remarks that “right now Formentera has an opportunity. We all saw the recovery of the surrounding natural ecosystem during the absence of human activity during lockdown. We need to attack our problems at their root rather than focusing on the downstream effects, and studies like this one will help us make real progress.”

11 March 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Researchers share results from Save Posidonia Project’s premier winner, ‘Antroposi’

cartell 2021 antroposiThe Formentera offices of tourism and environment report that architects of an effort to study the direct impact of drainage pipes, watercraft and human activity on posidonia meadows in the Anthropocene will share their findings in a 6.30pm YouTube presentation on Wednesday 10 March. Researchers in the Imedea-backed “Antroposi” project walked away with €83,822 in funding after beating out the competition in the inaugural edition of the Consell de Formentera’s Save Posidonia Project. For more than a year, researchers looked at various segments of Formentera’s surrounding seafloor in a bid to deepen understanding of how the more high impact human activities like sewage discharge and boats dropping anchors and navigating above meadows of Posidonia oceanica seagrass. Imedea researcher Iris Hendricks will lead the presentation.

5 March 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

New waste management contract leads with organics, frequent pickups and brand-new bins and equipment

The Formentera Department of Environment reports that this Friday, local cabinet councillors will present for approval in the February plenary assembly a procurement contract for waste collection and transport, clean roads and beaches, green spaces conservation and maintenance and management of the island’s waste treatment plant. The eight-year contract comes with the option of a two-year extension and is valued at €31.5 million, with FDE chair Antonio J Sanz drawing attention to terms like an upgraded vehicle fleet, enhanced organics collection, new bins and more frequent pickup.

More organics, more bins
The contract covers standard waste, paper/cardboard, plastics and glass collection; door-to-door commercial pickup for “major waste generators”; door-to-door organics pickup for “mid-range” and major waste generators; door-to-door collection on pedestrian streets in Es Pujols and —absent from past contracts— kerbside organics bins as soon as two years after the contract’s entry in force. Councillor Sanz called it “the latest step in line with 2019 legislation on waste and polluted soils requiring 50% of all discarded material be recyclable”.

The incoming service provider will also be on the hook for upgrades of the island’s underground containers and their inside-and-out cleaning, not to mention new dustbins street side.

Pickup frequency, new equipment and e-vehicles
In addition to an upgraded fleet of vehicles including electric vehicles in the light fleet, the new terms envision enhanced material and human resources for more frequent service factoring for considerations like seasonal demand. Councillor Sanz said improvements ranging from increased collections to staff and e-vehicle additions sought to enable a more appropriate response to local demand.

Landscaping and road clearing will also be provided for, services Sanz said would require “more extensive material and human resources”, plus manual and machine-assisted beach cleaning and waterfront rubbish and recycling bins.

Path forward
The new contract will be put to tender when plenary backing is secured, with service rollout possible as early as year’s end. “Contracts like these can be slow-going and convoluted”, said Sanz, who confided he was nevertheless “hopeful this moves quickly because it’s of vital importance to the island”, describing the island’s former waste management contract as “obsolete” and “conceived for Formentera circa 2005”. He concluded by praising the department staffers who had “made this contract happen”.

24 February 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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Formentera neta, naturalmet gràcies a valtros

Xarxa Natura de les Illes Balears

Punt d'Informació Ambiental

Balears Life Posidonia

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