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Formentera hosts Mediterranean Network for Posidonia towards common European policy on conservation

foto 2021 SPP networks AIsland’s choice as meeting site highlights status as touchstone of awareness and conservation outcomes

Consell de Formentera President Alejandra Ferrer was in charge of welcoming participants at the first face-to-face gathering of the Mediterranean Network for Posidonia (Xarxa Mediterrània per a la Posidonia, XMP). The days ahead will see members of governments and entities from eleven Mediterranean states unite behind the goal of common policy for posidonia conservation.

The initiative has roots in a November 2019 meeting held in Greece which featured representatives of the European Union and of most of the European countries of the Mediterranean. One of the main points on the docket was creation of a network of contacts to build synergies for a future European conservation strategy for posidonia seagrass.

President Ferrer drew attention to the Formentera government’s long-standing committment to protecting posidonia, reviewed municipal proposals to regulate anchoring ships and once again asked the responsible authorities to assist in the implementation of such proposals. “This summer laid bare just how vital it will be for Formentera to start acting in line with our needs and carrying capacity; in this our priority must be the environment, heritage and our residents’ quality of life”, she said. “Formentera has done a lot of fighting and we’re pioneers in many preservation- and sustainability-driven initiatives, including our network of vehicle recharge points, the formentera.eco scheme to restrict in-bound vehicles, caps on permits for tourist beds, eliminating plastic bags... We’ve done everything that we were able to do on land, but we lack strong measures at sea. Other Mediterranean destinations’ actions have a direct impact on our coastline and the growth of the nautical sector is unsustainable”, she insisted.

For his part, the Balearic Minister of Environment, Miquel Mir, emphasised the importance of an initiative “that would frame the roadmap towards a common, European Commission-endorsed marine conservation policy”. Mir applauded Formentera’s choice as the meeting site “because it is a European reference in terms of public awareness and actions in support of posidonia conservation”, adding that “this gathering cements the Balearic Islands’ trailblazing role adopting and enacting effective policies to protect a species that is vital for undersea habitats in the Mediterranean”.

The encounter is being hosted by the Balearic Ministry of the Environment and Territory and the French Biodiversity Office (OFB) in association with the LIFE Marha project and the Consell de Formentera. Cyrile Barnerias, who heads the OFB’s European and international relations division, pointed out that “the EU protects posidonia in accordance with the Natura 2000 directives. In France, posidonia meadows are carefully safeguarded, not just within protected marine areas. The XMP roadmap allows for greater cooperation to support stewardship”.

In the coming days, attendees will learn first-hand about policies to safeguard underwater seed-bearing plants that are being implemented on Formentera and in the region — both of which are fulcrums of efforts to legislate posidonia conservation. Also on hand at the encounter were representatives of the Valencian regional government, the governments of France, Malta, Cyprus, Montenegro and Greece, as well as universities and scientific and environmental organisations from across the Mediterranean.


21 September 2020
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

From bottom of sea floor, Formentera posidonia sends message of environmental awareness

cartell 2021 aixetaAAs part of the Save Posidonia Project’s ‘Conservem el nostre gran secret’ (Let’s protect our big secret) push, the Consell de Formentera has emblazoned messages of environmental awareness on stickers to serve as reminders in the washrooms of tourist accommodations, businesses and even the homes of regular islanders.

The first reads “I ask you from the bottom of the sea: flush only toilet paper”. The second proffers a slightly different enjoinder: “Don’t leave water running”. The graphics are presented in Catalan, Spanish and English and carry the hashtag #laposidòniacomençaaquí (‘posidoniastartshere’).

“We wanted to give posidonia its own personality”, explained president and tourism chief Alejandra Ferrer, “and we wanted people to see that the sea and our stewardship of it starts in our homes, at our taps and drains”.

An already-printed initial run of 600 stickers will be distributed among members of the local league of small business owners (Pimef), chamber of commerce and federation of hotels. Islanders who wish to pick their stickers up should visit the head office of the Consell de Formentera and Tourist Information Points.

Environment chief Antonio J. Sanz said  promoting conservation meant adapting public awareness policies to tourists and islanders alike.

This campaign is part of next week’s Save Posidonia Project Forum. See below for the complete programme.

Friday 24 September
The first day will be divided into three segments. First up is a welcome address and opening remarks in which President Ferrer will lay out a roadmap for the year ahead and highlight findings from fieldwork completed during the Posidonia Mediterranean Network event which immediately preceded SPP Forum.

The second segment, ‘Smart sustainability: protecting Posidonia’, combines working groups and talks where experts address the present, future, new innovative models of ecological sustainability and success stories pairing technology with sustainability.

That same afternoon, the third segment, ‘Carbon Neutral Islands’, addresses local emissions and possible solutions, and concludes with a round-table dedicated to the leaders of the future of sustainable tourism and the closing event.

Saturday 25 September
Volunteer activities form the basis of day two: a cleanup of S'Estufador beach (9.30am) and guided visit of posidonia meadows, including boat trip, environmental explanations and diving activity.

17 September 2020
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

This Saturday, cleanup of S'Estany des Peix marks World Cleanup Day 2021

In recognition of World Cleanup Day 2021, this Saturday 18 September, the Formentera Office of Environment (FOE), in association with Plastic Free and Que Celeste, will host a cleanup of S’Estany des Peix.

Participants are asked to meet at 10.00am in the Formentera Nautical Sports Centre (CENF) in La Savina. All necessary material will be provided by FOE.

World Cleanup Day is the world’s largest exercise in civic action, directly involving more than 180 countries in tackling the global waste crisis. Organisers highlight WCD’s strong and one-of-a-kind network of stakeholders who share the vision of a waste-free world and believe that together we can clean the world of rubbish.

15 September 2021
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

cartell 2021 world cleanup day

Plastics pickup at Cala en Baster

cartell 2021 recollida plasticsRamon Mirabet’s Gira del Mar has teamed up with the Consell de Formentera and Save Posidonia Project to mount a plastic waste cleanup in the area of Cala en Baster. Recovered plastic will be recycled and incorporated into a new product by Fitplanet.
For more details and to sign up, visit www.giradelmar.ramonmirabet.com.

13 September 2021
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Smart sustainability drives 4th Save Posidonia Project Forum, 24—25 September

cartell 2021 forum SPP aIn press conference today, Consell de Formentera president and tourism chief Alejandra Ferrer offered early details about the fourth Save Posidonia Project Forum, due to unfold on the island 24 and 25 September, as well as a new promotional and educational push dubbed ‘Let's keep our big secret' (Conservem el nostre gran secret). According to Ferrer, the 2021 forum, focused on reactivating tourism and protecting Formentera through smart sustainability, is “a space for showcasing ideas and exchanging experiences”. And she highlighted an aim shared by those taking part in SPP Forum: “To help Formentera down a path toward sustainability during a difficult year and amid ever growing strain on the island”.

At the presentation President Ferrer spoke about SPP Forum’s origins, describing the original driving impulse as protecting natural resources like Posidonia oceanica seagrass. But she emphasised the need to keep the initiative relevant, and applauded the individuals and businesses who have paid to sponsor over 250,000 m2 of posidonia since SPP Forum’s 2017 début.

New campaign
Designed by communications firm Viernes and backed by the Formentera Office of Tourism, ‘Let’s keep our big secret’ marks an attempt to educate around the key role of posidonia seagrass and why protecting it is so crucial. The campaign spotlights an inter-generational selection of islanders who share messages like preserving the air-purifying seagrass by not anchoring watercraft directly on top of it and by fishing responsibly.

Donations received since 2019 have enabled the Formentera Office of Environment to fund and coordinate ‘Antroposi’ —a project stewarded by the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA)— as well as an environmental diagnostic study of moorage on Formentera's coastline by the local environmental campaigners at GEN-GOB. With €90,000 in funding, the two projects were completed and presented to the public this year. The most recent call for proposals saw honours go to the University of the Balearic Islands for ImPeFora — a €112,000 analysis of the impact of emerging pollutants on posidonia.

Apart from numerous international experts in sustainability technology who are scheduled to contribute as speakers, in attendance at this year’s SPP Forum will be fifty journalists from a wide range of countries — “which should help to give voice to our secret and raise awareness about the importance of territorial preservation”, said President Ferrer.

Save Posidonia Project Forum

- Friday 24 September:
The first day will be divided into three segments. First up is a welcome address and opening remarks in which President Ferrer will lay out a roadmap for the year ahead and highlight findings from fieldwork completed during the Posidonia Mediterranean Network event which immediately preceded SPP Forum.

The second segment, ‘Smart sustainability: protecting Posidonia’, combines working groups and talks where experts address the present, future, new innovative models of ecological sustainability and success stories pairing technology with sustainability.

That same afternoon, the third segment, ‘Carbon Neutral Islands’, addresses local emissions and possible solutions, and concludes with a round-table dedicated to the leaders of the future of sustainable tourism and the closing event.

- Saturday 25 September:
Volunteer activities form the basis of day two: a cleanup of S'Estufador beach (9.30am) and guided visit of posidonia meadows, including boat trip, environmental explanations and diving activity.

The complete SPP Forum programme is available here.

8 September 2021
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

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