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At Posidonia Project Forum, Formentera charts roadmap to nurturing local sustainability

foto spp 2019 2Today the island welcomes the third Posidonia Project Forum, and Formentera’s president and councillor of tourism, Alejandra Ferrer, tended to the task of greeting participants. Formentera is, in the president’s words, “a small territory where the importance of sustainability has always been crystal clear”. “There’s no better proof of that than the Save Posidonia Project, launched in 2017”, she continued, pointing out this year marks the twentieth anniversary of nearby posidonia meadows’ naming as a World Heritage Site and affirming: “Their protection is one of the reasons why we’re here today”.

“We’re on our way, but there’s a considerable stretch still ahead”, she said. “When there’s a will in the political, social and business circuits, there’s a way”, Ferrer asserted, reasoning “we know what the problems are, but we know what the fixes are, too”. To pin them down, the forum kicked off yesterday with a series of working groups tackling issues like water, waste, plastics, mobility on land and by sea, the energy transition and posidonia seagrass.

President Ferrer held up Formentera’s adhesion to the sustainable tourism declaration along with local adoption of the 2030 sustainable development goals—“17 sustainable development priorities we hope local civil society and businesses make their own”. But the president didn’t mince words, either: “Working toward sustainability is no longer an option; it’s a responsibility for each and every one of us”.

2021 goals

Lastly, marine biologist Oscar Esparza presented the conclusions of working groups that met all day yesterday to explore the issues and prepare a roadmap to local sustainability that has been dubbed “Formentera 2021”.

The following goals and action plans emerged:

- Goal 1: move toward zero waste generation on Formentera.
Action plan 1: withdraw single-use plastics and work toward a system of returns and deposit refunds.

- Goal 2: improve energy efficiency on the island by favouring renewable energies.
Action plan 2: craft a plan for renewable energy efficiency for businesses in tourism, government and housing.

- Goal 3: reduce high-pollution vehicle use among local businesses and islanders.
Action plan 3: create incentives for businesses and islanders to use clean transport alternatives.

- Goal 3: regulate the flow of incoming visitors, bringing this into line with the island’s actual capacity.
Action plan 4: develop a participative strategy to efficiently regulate and administer regular ferry traffic in such a way as to simultaneously address uncontrolled anchorage on local shores.

Efforts over the next two years will be based on the idea of incremental changes, and entail the active engagement of Formentera’s social and business quarters. It is hoped that changes are evident by 2021, when the next large-scale Posidonia Project Forum is planned.

Conferences and round tables

The day-long event will feature conferences from experts on the environment and sustainability in tourism and social and economic areas; one will focus on sustainability as a pillar of competitiveness in tourism, another will offer a close-up look at an environmental issue: the suitability of carbon footprints in gauging real impact.

Activities will continue tomorrow, Saturday, with a community cleanup and an outing at sea to familiarise visiting journalists with the reasons for posidonia meadows’ designation as a World Heritage Site.

11 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

2019 Posidonia Project Forum launch

foto forum posi proj2019 2Consell de Formentera president and tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer, together with Formentera’s councillor of environment Antonio J Sanz, welcomed attendees of the Posidonia Project Forum to the working groups organised for the occasion. With everyone from Formentera and Balearic government personnel to representatives of local businesses, civil society groups and NGOs, the groups will tackle a range of issues related to water, waste, plastics, mobility on land and at sea, the energy transition and posidonia seagrass.

The president told attendees that “tomorrow will begin with a vision—put together today, from the reflections and analysis in this first sessions—of new priority areas and a pledge of forward action”. She encouraged everyone to “put it all on the table in terms of the challenges to the environment and sustainability that we’ll be facing in the coming years”.

Open to the public, tomorrow’s Forum starts with a presentation of today’s work as well as a look at the projects that received funding in 2017. Talks, documentary screenings and round-table discussions are on the agenda as well. The complete programme is available at https://www.saveposidoniaproject.org/forum-posidonia-2019/

10 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Through health and wellness, Formentera Zen turns October calm into asset

foto formenZen 2019 3The Office of Tourism of the Consell de Formentera reports that from 11–13 October, Formentera Zen will return to the island for its fifth year of day-long deep-dives into physical and emotional health and wellness alongside Discover Formentera in October.

President and tourism chief Alejandra Ferrer highlighted the Consell-backed programme’s approach to leveraging “Formentera’s signature tranquility to propose an array of activities from yoga and fitness to meditation and mindfulness”, and pointed to “its draw on October visitors keen to skip the crowds, and take it nice and slow on their visit”.

Experts each discipline will offer workshops, talks and classes. The complete programme and a link to register —tourists pay €90; islanders €45— can be found at https://formenterazen.es/ca/formentera-zen/el-programa/ (currently 30 are enrolled). Core categories include diet, emotional intelligence, physical activities and other pillars of well-being.

Masterclass with Veronica Blume

Formentera Zen activities are staged in specially adapted venues, like a masterclass with the acclaimed Veronica Blume in the Sant Francesc square on Saturday 12 October at 6.00pm.

President Ferrer pointed out that Formentera Zen runs parallel to another event, Fòrum Posidonia Project: “It’s a way to fuse support for individual care with support for care for the planet”.

3 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Formentera welcomes third Collective Signatures, 48 hours of non-stop artistic creations

arcipelago 2019 1From 16–18 October, Formentera will become the scene of the third Collective Signatures. This year’s edition, ‘Arcipelago’ is made up of “artistic residences” in which participants explore performative writing in an array of local settings. The event is also included on the programme for Discover Formentera in October, and has the support of the offices of tourism and culture.

The independent commissioner for the event, Formentera resident Francesca Carol Rolla, continues in the now time-tested approach of research and exploration around performative arts. At the core of this year’s edition is a 48-hour marathon of artist creations, which, specially crafted for the settings and monuments across Formentera where they are concocted, form a culture-steeped circuit blending art, nature and historical heritage sites.

The 18 local and international artists on Arcipelago's guestlist makes it a crossroads of different cultures ripe for reflections on the parallels between island-individual and archipelago-collective.

“The impulse to do 48 hours, no interruptions, ties directly in with the spirit of commitment and solidarity”, says Francesca Carol Rolla, “It’s a way to strengthen the message—calling for change, liberty and action, whether social, political or cultural—of the artists and their work. These actions connect to the idea of art as a tool of transformation, the body as a raw material of artistic expression, and the archipelago as a feeling of belonging and its potential as a better kind of humanity”.

Guest artists at this years event are Alterphase (Spain), Lorenzo Pepe (Italy), Miquel Costa (Spain), Negritos (Argentina), Dario Fusco (Italy), Valeria Del Vecchio (Italy), Gautama del Campo (Spain), Ana Celada (Spain), Matilde Sambo (Italy), Mauro Sambo (Italy), Andrigo&Aliprandi (Italy), Preema Nazia Andaleeb (Bangladesh), Preach R Sun (USA), Nicol Vizioli (Italy), Juan Carlos Villalba (Venezuela) and Fenia Kotsopoulou (Greece).

Arcipelago is presented by the cultural non-profit Sa Casa i Studio Contemporaneo and hosted with support from the Consell de Formentera and Institut d’Estudis Baleàrics. Additional help comes from FRAC Grand Est (Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain), the University of Strasbourg, PAB (Performance Art Bangladesh), Lago Film Festival, Venice International Performance Art Week, Espai_F and Formentera businesses.

9 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Formentera sets sights on off-season tourists

foto promo turisme 2019 1The Department of Tourism of the Consell de Formentera reports that the coming days will see the island's promotors hitting two travel expos in Switzerland and Netherlands, and a birdwatching festival in the Delta de l'Ebre.

Head of promotion Carlos Bernús is in the Swiss city of Montreux at the TTW Romandie (Travel Trade Workshop) today and tomorrow—“one of the biggest for tourism professionals in French-speaking Switzerland”, Bernús said.

“We'll be wooing off-season travellers with details of our island's impressive ecological values”, Bernús said. Formentera has its own stand at the event.

Utrecht, Netherlands
From 17 to 22 September, Formentera will also participate in the city of Utrecht's 50 Plus, an expo for the 50-and-older set, who, Bernús pointed out, “are O.K. with missing the high-season months...and want to take their time”. Bernús said the island's ideal profile had “mid- to high-range purchasing power, and is tuned in to the environment”.

Birdwatching tourism
Formentera will also court the national market at the Delta Birding Festival. The event runs from today until Friday, 20 September, at MónNatura Delta. The tourism chief described the group of islands in southern Delta de l'Ebre as “the perfect venue to trumpet Formentera's qualities as a birdwatchers' destination”.

Visit from Toronto
Formentera will also get a visit this week from representatives of Toronto-based press outlets specialising in cultural travel. The group will tour cultural and heritage sites like the Ca Na Costa megalithic monument and dig sites in es Cap de Barbaria.

18 September 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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