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Jávea news in English from "Jáveaamigos"Latest Issue of Javea GrapevineMayor Chulvi's Blog

How an ancient Arabic technique saves Alicante from floods

August 20th
In San Juan, a low-lying area of the city, authorities have built a new park with a twist. Called La Marjal, it serves as a typical recreation area and a nature reserve – but its primary purpose is to store, and then recycle, rainwater. In function it resembles an aljibe, a technique developed by Arab residents of Spain many centuries ago, in which rainwater is collected and stored in a kind of cistern underneath a building. La Marjal does a similar job, but outdoors. The water is also then diverted to a nearby treatment plant, where it can subsequently be used to clean streets and water parks. For full story see: The Guardian

Spain is failing to curb food waste

August 19th
When Spain adopted the UN Sustainable Development goals in September 2015, it promised to halve food waste by 2030. But it is far from meeting this target. In 2018, Spanish homes threw out nearly 1.4 billion kilos/litres of food – 8.9% more than in 2017, breaking the downward trend of the previous two years. Hot weather increases food waste, but waste also contributes to rising temperatures. According to the latest climate change report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), spoiled or wasted food – which makes up between 25% and 30% of all food produced in the world – is responsible for between 8% and 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans. For full story see: El Pais in English.

Vandalism plagues bike sharing scheme in Xàbia

August 16th
The company Bike2Use that launched a bicycle sharing and rental system a few months ago in Xàbia posted a message yesterday on its Facebook profile in which it lamented the vandalism that their bicycles were suffering. Many users had complained that bikes were not where they were supposed to be. But according to the company this is not because of their lack of diligence but because of a wave of “terrible vandalism” that they have suffered. Which makes it "impossible to achieve our goal, to have bikes available to everyone, all the time in Xàbia." For this reason, from they have made a public appeal for citizen collaboration and that if the neighbours see their abandoned bicycles “in remote places, underground parking, within urbanizations or private areas” that they should contact them so that they can go to pick it up, repair it if necessary and put back it into circulation. From XAD

Teulada and Benitatxell buy water from the Xàbia desalination plant due to the risk of supply cuts

August 16th
Benitatxell and Teulada have anticipated possible drinking water supply problems during the August period of high consumption and have signed an agreement with Xàbia and Amjasa for the purchase of quality water from the desalination plant. Their supply company Hidraqua will purchase between 1,500and 2,000m3 of drinking water. They feel that regional cooperation and collaboration is of paramount importance and that the Xàbia desalination plant is of a size to provide regional solutions. From: La Marina Plaza.

Spain turns its back on coal, as use of the fossil fuel falls to historic lows

July 17th
According to data from the Spanish Electric Network (REE), the use of coal to generate electricity has never been lower than the months of May and June this year. In May, coal-fired power stations contributed just 1.7% to electricity on the Spanish mainland and 2.1% in June. … a number of factors are contributing to coal-generated electricity’s demise in Spain and in several other European countries too. On the one hand, the price of emitting CO2 in the European coal market is very high and now stands above €26 per ton released into the atmosphere. As coal power stations are the worst culprits, they are the most heavily penalized. Though natural gas power stations also release CO2, the emissions are less than half those of coal. In fact, natural gas is picking up the slack from the coal industry in Spain, which means the combined systems that have been underused for years are now feeding into the national grid at historic highs. Sources within the sector indicate that another factor contributing to the demise of coal-generated power is the competitive price of gas. This means the so-called “green cent” tax, which the government abolished for gas but maintained for coal, is also having an impact. for full story see: El Pais in English

Valencia proposes birdwatching tourism to combat seasonality

July 17th
The first conference on ornithological tourism organised by the Patronat de Turisme de València met with the idea of promoting bird watching as a tourism product. They noted that it was important to take care of the resource: the birds and their habitats with attention to the cleaning and conservation of flora and fauna reserves and management focused on improving the positioning of the product. From: Europapress.es

Spain's natural river basins network should expand to protect biodiversity in rivers

July 17th
The Natural River Basins (RNF) was created in Spain in 2015 to preserve the river areas with no human intervention, and which were in a perfect ecological state. A new study reveals the first conclusions of Reservial (2015-2017), a pioneering project in the European framework to assess the efficiency of the RNF in Spain with the participation of all stakeholders. This innovative project seeks to shape a network of water basins of the rivers in Spain to guarantee the protection of river regions with the highest ecological and socio-environmental value, as well as the preservation of water biodiversity. The European eel (Anguilla anguilla), the freshwater blenny (Salaria fluviatilis), the freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera auricularia) and the pronged clubtail (Gomphus graslini) are some of the vulnerable species that are not sufficiently represented in the biodiversity catalogue. According to the new study, citizen participation in the systematic planning of conservation could improve the protection of freshwater ecosystems in the country For full story see: Phys.org

UPV students enter a Valencian "barraca" style house in international sustainable housing competition

June 19th
A Valencian "barraca", 80 square metres by 7 metres high will represent the Universitat Politècnica de València in the Solar Decathlon Europe competition that will take place from June 26 to July 28 in Szentendre (Hungary). Solar Decathlon Europe is the most important competition in the world in sustainable and efficient housing. It is driven by the Department of Energy of the United States, and its objective is the design and construction of houses that consume the least amount of natural resources and produce a minimum of waste during their life cycle. The revision of the traditional Valencian building was developed over two tears by a team of 45 students. The result is a totally self-sufficient, modular house, built mainly with wood and insulated with cork, which has a very low energy demand. From Cope.es

Spain prepares for faster and more aggressive wildfires

June 19th
Spain is preparing for fires that are more aggressive and up to twelve times faster, with one of its northern regions set to be the first to deploy new detection methods. Estanislao de Luis Calabuig, Professor of Ecology at the University of León said: “the effects of climate change, with higher temperatures and lower rainfall in our environment, makes the fires more virulent.” According to the Ministry of Agriculture, 30 per cent more land has been burnt during the first five months of this year than the average at that time during the last decade. For full story see: Euroweekly News

Barcelona port is worst in Europe for cruise ship air pollution

June 7th
The port of Barcelona, a city already overwhelmed by mass tourism, has topped a list of 50 European ports for the amount of air pollution produced there by cruise ships, according to a report. In 2017 cruise ships emitted 32.8 tonnes of sulphur oxide (SOx) in Barcelona, according to the research. Palma de Mallorca was the second most polluted, with 28 tonnes…Ships run on fuel oil, which contains about 2,000 times more sulphur oxide than ordinary diesel. The report claims that cruise ships docking in European ports produced 10 times more sulphur emissions than all the 260m cars in those countries combined. In the case of Barcelona, in 2017 cruise ships emitted nearly five times as much SOx as all the city’s cars. For full story see: The Guardian

Elections 2019 - The parties explain their approaches towards developing a sustainable Xàbia

May 26th 2019
The political parties fighting the local elections in 2019 answered questions posed by Para Una Xabia Sostenible based on the EDUSI project
Click on the Blue link to read the full questions and the answers given by each party.

1 There is too much dependence on tourism and construction. How will you diversify the economy?

2 Agriculture and traditional industry are nowadays marginal activities. Should these aspects be promoted?

3 Sustainable mobility

4 How would you revive heritage resources for local culture.

5 Areas like Jávea Park have been neglected

6 We must create close links with the natural environment.

7 Technology to improve relations between citizens and the administration

PP pushes to reactivate Citizen Participation

May 24th
The popular candidate is committed to reactivate Xàbia in all areas, connect the three urban centers and of course, in having citizen participation, «That each technician, professional or neighbor contributes his point of view before an action is very important so that Xàbia is alive». For article and Video of interview (in Spanish) see: Javea.com Ed's note: Podemos at the opposite end of the political spectrum also proposed reviving citizen participation - see question 7.

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PUXS asks the political parties to clarify their position on sustainable development

May 21st
Working from the Fent Xàbia project, PUXS drew up a list of eight questions which is being sent to all the political parties putting up candidates in these municipal elections, with a request to reply by Friday 17 May. Click on link for more details How can we ensure a sustainable Xàbia for the future?

Spain's struggle with Light Pollution

May 5th 2019
Spain’s light pollution problem has become so bad over the past 10 to 15 years that light from the country’s biggest cities can be seen from hundreds of kilometers away. Recent scientific studies have drawn attention to the problem with striking images that capture the light pollution emitted by Spain’s major cities. The only exception is the Canary Islands, which has introduced legislation to protect the skyline.
For full story see: El Pais in English

This Site put "on hold" for 2019

Feb 15th
Due to new priorities of the Editor, and subsequent lack of time, this site will not be updated in 2019, unless anything really significant happens which needs to be translated into English. I will, however, continue to post links to articles about the environment and sustainability which appear in the Spanish Press on our Agenda21 Facebook Page.: Agenda21 Xàbia Facebook.. The site remains as a useful archive on the Agenda21 process in Xàbia, which morphed into Citizen's participation, and which has gradually faded away.
Sorry for the inconvenience. Chris BJ

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