Headlines - Latest News

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

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

Post fire recovery of Granadella completed

Dec 10th
Work on the recovery of the Granadella zone after the devastating fire of September 2016 has concluded, a project that has been funded by a grant from the Diputación de Alicante worth some 170,000 euros. Actions have been carried not only for the environmental and landscape restoration of the area but also to prevent a repeat of the destruction caused by one of the worst blazes in living memory. The project has involved the clearing of trees on municipal lands as part of the forest fire prevention initiative, the cutting and treatment of burnt trees in the Umbría de Les Cansalades zone and the planting of new species more resistant to fire such as carob and wild olive. Terrace walls have also been restored and special retaining structures built from the trunks of burned trees which had to be removed to stop erosion in the case of heavy rains. For full story see: Javeamigos

"Sun Tax" abolition - some guidelines

Dec 9th
Although we still have to be cautious about the abolition of the sun tax that was recently approved by the Spanish Government through Royal Decree-Law 2018 of October 5th, Silvasol has published some guidelines to explain the main benefits for consumers and producers of this type of renewable energy. See: Javeamigos for full details.

Mediterranean heritage of Xàbia explored through two guided tours

Dec 9th
Two special guided routes for all the family have been organised by the 'Fundación Oceanogràfic' through the campaign 'Projecte Xàbia' that aims to enhance the knowledge and understanding of the natural and cultural marine environment of the area and the importance of conserving it. The first explores the world of fishing in the area whilst the second will be exploring the impact of different cultures on the coast, such as the Romans. For full details see: Javeamigos

Estrella Damm beer company commits to the environment and reduces Co2 emissions

Dec 9th
Damm is committed to improving the efficiency of its factories and reducing the environmental impact of its processes. The company generates more than 7 million kWh of renewable electric energy annually, which has enabled it to reduce its CO2 emissions by more than 2,600 tons in its production and packaging plants. In 2017 alone, Damm invested more than six million euros in environmental improvement activities, such as the implementation of a circular economy model and the installation of a programming system to calculate the water footprint in all the plants. The company is currently generating 7,700,000 kWh of electric power through renewable energy generation in its factories in El Prat de Llobregat ( Barcelona ), El Puig ( Valencia ) and Murcia. From: Economia Digital

Water Observatory to discuss sustainable Mediterranean gardens

Dec 9th.
There will be a meeting of the Water Observatory on Wednesday, December 12th at 6.00 pm in the Desalination plant on promoting awareness about sustainable, low water consumption gardens. Examples will include the Albarda Gardens in Pedreguer, and the success stories of the local company Jardín Sostenible. Everyone welcome.

International Mountain Day December 11th

Dec 9th
The United Nations International Mountain Day - December 11th - was inaugurated in 2003 'to highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development since these zones provide freshwater, energy and food, all resources that will become increasingly scarce in the coming decades'. To mark this year's event in the Marina Alta, the 'We Love Mountains' group has arranged a series of events in Xàbia. for details see: Javeamigos

Water Observatory (OAX) to develop campaigns on Tap water, Wet wipes and Mediterranean Gardens

Nov 4th
There will be a meeting of the Xàbia Water Observatory on Monday 5th November at 7.30 in the desalination plant. The meeting will be discussing campaigns for:
1 Promoting tap water as a quality product, attempting to reduce the use of bottled water
2. Figuring out a way of getting people to dispose of wet wipes properly (i.e. not flushing them down the toilet!)
3. Promoting a Mediterranean garden - i.e. one that does not require irrigation.
For a rough translation of the working papers see:
Observatorio de Agua - Meeting Nov 5th - working papers

Calpe rejects proposal to expand fish farm to 500,000m2

17th October
Calpe has rejected the latest proposal from the company running the sea fish farm off its coast after unfavourable reports from the Department of the Environment. The municipality believes that the project is not able to guarantee that pollution will not occur, that there are more suitable places for the farm, and that the effect of future installations on wild fish populations has not been studied. The Town Hall has previously rejected the first expansion project by the same company in 2014. From: La Marina Plaza

Xàbia street lights switch to LED technology

Oct 11th
Xàbia has begun work on replacing more than one hundred street lamps with energy-saving LED technology which provides less pollution and will reduce electricity consumption by a quarter. The project will cost 46,510 euros and has been entirely funded by the Diputación de Alicante. More than 100 street lights will be modernised in the Rafalet zone in addition to 30 in Calle Lepanto in the port. The project will also improve the wiring and technological system. There will be an estimated annual saving of €13,315 in the Town Hall's electricity bill. For full story see: Javeamigos

València plans to install three wind turbines in the port and natural gas stations to reduce CO2

Sept 30th
The port of València plans to install three terrestrial wind turbines and natural gas stations to reduce CO2 emissions. The wind farm will be in the area of the port expansion and the energy will serve the cranes of the stevedores and refrigerated containers. The Port Authority also plans the construction of an electrical substation of 132 kV (kilovolts) to supply electricity to ships so that they do not consume diesel (which is highly polluting) while they are moored. The port of Valencia is part of the Trans-European Transport Network, which is promoting the use of liquefied natural gas and electricity as an alternative to petroleum derivatives. From: Levante

A study sees recreational boats compatible with Posidonia (sea grass) beds in the Marina Alta

Sept 27th
The impact of recreational boats in the Posidonia (sea grass beds) has always been controversial. The rocky coastline of the Marina Alta is to be protected as a LIC (Lugar dr Interes communitario - place of community interest), and Posodonia is an important compnent of the marine ecosystem. The study, commissioned by the marinas Marina Nou Fontana (Xàbia), Marina de Dénia and Marina El Portet (Dénia), has been coordinated by the University of Alicante. It as found that unlike what happens in the sandy sea beds of Formentera, the Posodonia of the region are found on rocky substrates and the possible anchor dragging is less likely. From:La Marina Plaza.

Organic agriculture grows 70% in the Comunitat Valenciana

Sept 12th
A report of ecological production in Spain 2017 published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, shows that in the period 2010-2017, the number of producers that undertook organic farming increased by 60%, from 1,886 in 2010 to 3,013 in 2017. This percentage is very similar to the national average. The ecological production system in the Mediterranean Arc ( Andalusia, Catalonia, Murcia and the Valencian Community ) represents 65% of the total national ecological area and 58% of the producers throughout the country. Spain is first EU country in agricultural areas dedicated to organic farming, and one of the five most important in the world. From: Levante

World Cleanup day in Xàbia - 15th September

Sept 12th
Xàbia will be joining the global movement to clean up our world this weekend, a campaign that will see millions of volunteers in some 150 countries across the planet come together with the objective of cleaning up litter and mismanaged waste from beaches, rivers, forests and towns. The Department of Services at the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia has ensured that Xàbia will be involved this Saturday 15th September in a series of actions organised with the collaboration with different organisations and associations such as the Fishermen's Guild, IROX, AMJASA, Protección Civil, the Cruz Roja and various private businesses. The cleaning will concentrate on the surroundings of the Santa Llúcia hill working along a circular route starting in Calle Langreo and along the river Gorgos at two points: the Vía Augusta and Calle Verona next to the IES No1 high school and the area around the La Vibro cement factory between Camí Fontanelles and Camí Cabanes close to the Carretera de Gata. Volunteers will meet at the three cleaning areas at 10.00am. Gloves, collection bags etc will be supplied.For full story see: Javeamigos

Table of Contents

10 reasons put forward by IROX prevent a plan to develop the Portitxol

Sept 10th
A large number of people have come out against the (Plan de Acción Integral) of Portitxol that intends to urbanize 61,350 square meters of urban land and 14 plots in a still virgin area of the Portitxol area. A protest was even held in front of the Town Hall , where participants expressed their opposition to an extensive urban model and the lack of sustainable infrastructure. The Institut de Recerca Oceanografic of Xàbia has put forward 10 reasons, with legal argument, as to why this should not go ahead. Eds Note: The Town Hall subsequently denied that the PAI in any way affected the protected areas, but was in an area which was already classified as Urban. For details see: IROX and the PAI Portitxol

Some 20.000 people used the free shuttle train to Granadella

Sept 10th
Some 20.000 people used the free shuttle train this summer to travel to the popular Cala de la Granadella which has been subject to access restrictions for the second successive year in a bid to reduce the traffic saturation which has blighted the zone in recent years. The shuttle service was launched on July 10th and some 6,200 people used it during that month, a figure that more than doubled to 13,500 during the month of August. According to provisional statistics provided by the Department of Tourism, the majority of the passengers were families with children and young couples with the most popular period for travelling to the cove being between 12 noon and 2.00pm whilst the return journey back to the special parking zone in La Guardia Park being between 5.00pm and 7.00pm. During these busy periods the shuttle train was complemented with a minibus to reduce waiting times. The public service has received very positive reviews from many of those who have used it. For full story see: Javeamigos

Benitatxell to create a Hiking route and recreation area on Tossal Gros

Sept 5th
Tossal Gros is an old landfill in Benitatxell. Currently, it has degraded by uncontrolled waste dumping in recent years. Now the Town Hall plans to restore the area with the creation of a recreational forested area and a hiking route. It will have a subsidy of 20,000 euros from the Diputación de Alicante to achieve this. The clearing of the plot is also planned with the elimination of invasive species, the transport of waste to landfill, grading the land and improving vegetation by keeping the species of interest such as rosemary, lavender and mastic. In addition existing trees will be pruned and forest species such as holm oaks, Kermes oaks, carob trees, wild olive trees and mastic trees will be planted on the slopes. From: Las Provincias

Unemployment up in Spain as economy sheds 203,000 jobs in August

Sept 4th
August is traditionally a slow month for the Spanish labor market, as many summer jobs get axed in the hospitality and retail sectors. But this year has been worse than others, newly released figures show. Unemployment rose by 47,047 people from July, the biggest rise on record for a month of August since 2011. The official number of people without a job is now 3.18 million: 1.3 million men and 1.87 million women. There were 1.6 million new job contracts signed in August, a 4.3% rise from the same month last year. But of these, only 153,921 were permanent contracts, representing 9.61% of the total. For full story see: El País in English

Tourism replaces construction as Spain’s main employment driver

August 20th
Tourism has been one of the main engines behind Spain’s economic recovery and it is now the most important source of employment. According to a survey by the Spanish Institute of Tourism (Turespaña), 2.65 million people – 2.17 million waged workers and 483,861 private contractors – were employed in the sector in spring. This represents 13.7% of Spain’s working population (19.34 million people), meaning tourism has overtaken construction as the top employer sector in the country. However it cannot compete when it comes to salaries. According to a study by the INE, the average annual salary of a construction worker in 2008 was €20,706.7 – 48% more than the €14,000 received by an average hospitality worker. In 2016, the last year with available data, hospitality workers were earning €14,125.3 – just 1.2% more. Salaries in construction meanwhile have risen 7% to €22,163.46. Hospitality employees were paid an average of €9.32 an hour in the first semester of 2018, while construction workers received €11.73 an hour. Also The seasonality of tourism means employment in the sector fluctuates greatly between summer and winter. In the first trimester of 2017, more than 2,660,915 people were working in the tourism sector; three months later that figure had dropped by 141,000 and by the first semester of 2018, there were 240,000 fewer workers. For full story see: El Pais in English

Why the Lluxent forest fire could happen again

August 20th
Lightning caused the recent Llutxent fire that destroyed 3,270 hectares, burned about forty houses and forced 3,000 people to be evicted. The fire originated in public mountains which are owned by the municipalities of Pinet and Llutxent, but whose management is the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture and Environment. The president of the Valencian Forestry Platform (PFV), Fernando Pradells, explained that fire is something typical of the Mediterranean mountains, it cannot be avoided. However, measures can be put in place to prevent the occurrence of a conflagration. There are fires that cannot be put out and the only solution is to regulate the density of the biomass. This can only be achieved with long-term interventions. The mountains have been given overprotection that neither creates income nor uses nor prevents fires. There are three times more trees now than in 1970, mainly due to the abandonment of agriculture. No resources have been allocated to forest products that could substitute for petroleum products. In general, traditional agriculture has taken precedence over agroforestry despite the importance it has for its environmental, economic and social values. From:La Razon

Amjasa makes a video debunking myths about its water

August 20th
AMJASA has made a video debunking some myths about their water supply. The two and a half minute video has English subtitles: Is it cheaper to fill a swimming pool with a water lorry? Is it OK to take extra water by bypassing the meter? is the water OK to drink? The short video is on Vimeo, and you can watch it here: Amjasa debunking myths video, or go the Vimeo website: Falsos mitos del agua

Marina Alta - top in tourist rentals

August 20th
The Marina Alta is the Valencian power house in apartment tourism. Unlike other regions where hotel accommodation has much more weight, hotels are scarce in this region. This is a coast of second residences and apartments for rent. One of every four apartments registered for tourist accommodation in the Valencian Community is in the Marina Alta. Of the total of 305,614 bed in tourist apartments registered in the Comunitat, 25.5% (a total of 77,590) are in the Marina Alta. Xàbia ranks 5th, with 2950 apartments and 17,891 places. From: La Marina Plaza

Battle to protect Spain's 10,000 endangered marine species

July 22nd
Spain is home to the largest number of marine fauna species in the European Union – a total of 10,000 in 900 types of habitat – but is also the bloc's fifth-largest producer of plastic with an average of 3.2 items of rubbish, of which 2.3 are plastic, lounging in every square metre of beach. This spring, the previous Spanish government, led by the PP, set up the Life IP Intermares plan as part of the Biodiversity Foundation within the ministry for the environment, agriculture, food and fishing – the largest and most ambitious marine conservation project in Europe, financed out of various EU funds totalling €50 million to care for the entire network of protected parts of the continent's seas. It will involve breeding programmes covering all marine species in the Red Natura 2000 ('Nature Network 2000'), Spain's catalogue of endangered fauna, with the aim of increasing protected offshore reserves tenfold – reflecting the rest of the planet as a whole, 1% of Spanish seas are under conservation orders, but the Life IP Intermares programme seeks to increase this to at least 8% immediately, rising to a minimum of 10% by the year 2020. Research and monitoring, general protection actions – such as reducing or banning boats or limiting tourist numbers – awareness and education campaigns, and public communications are among the other activities the sea conservation project will develop and expand over the next few years. For full story see: ThinkSpain

Jávea joins the Coca-Cola plan to clean up coasts and sea floor

July 22nd
The Valencian Community has joined the Mares Circulares Project, an initiative of Coca-Cola that aims to clean the coasts and sea beds by collecting all containers so that they do not end up in waste. The project, which has been presented at the Ministry of the Environment, includes the care of natural areas, prevention with awareness campaigns, and the generation of scientific studies and a "circular economy" according to a statement from Coca-Cola. The plan has the collaboration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Ecomar Foundation and the Chelonia Association, and includes the municipalities of Alicante, El Campello, Benidorm, Jávea, Villajoyosa, Oliva and València. Mares Circulares plans to organize waste collection campaigns on six beaches, including Cabo de las Huertas (Playa de San Juan), El Campello, Jávea and Villajoyosa in Alicante; and Club Náutico de Valencia, in La Marina de Valencia. from: Lavanguardia

Red Cross launches campaign to "care for" the Mediterranean

Exhibitions and workshops on beaches

July 10th
Red Cross presented its new campaign on El Cabanyal de València ' Mediterrani, deixa que et care ', an initiative focused on awareness of the care of the beaches and the health of bathers, which will bring exhibitions and practical workshops to the sand with advice on safety and health. The organization thus intends "to promote the enjoyment of the beaches of the Valencian Community in a safe, sustainable and healthy way". Regarding sustainability, the organization emphasizes " the environmental wealth of the Mediterranean, the threat to flora and fauna that the sea suffers and what people can do to protect it". There are a total of three traveling exhibitions, one in each province of the Region, which will move to several beaches on the coast. From July 10 to September 5, there will be a total of 40 talks on 26 beaches. From:Las Provincias

The Diputació de València increases grants for sustainable forest management by 25% up to 2 million euros

June 15th
Grants for sustainable forest management and fire prevention will have a budget of 2 million euros this year, 25% more than in 2017. The Diputació is entrusted with the provision of fire prevention and extinction services in municipalities with less than 20,000 inhabitants. Therefore, they have begun to develop policies for sustainable forest management and strategic prevention of forest fires with concrete measures. This type of action had never been done before. Deputy Josep Bort emphasised the idea that you have to change the way you look at nature,. He stated that "nature is not a museum, our mountains and our forests are not a museum. They are living ecosystems, and we must also see them as an economic resource. In the same way that this resource serves to enrich our heritage, it also serves to work in guaranteeing opportunities for the people who live in our inland towns ". From:El diario.es

New traffic control in Cala Barraca and new parking zone for Granadella shuttle service during summer

July 1st
Xàbia has been preparing the popular coves for the busy summer season, work to try and alleviate the huge traffic problems that plague the areas as the temperatures rise and the tourists arrive. These measures implemented by the Department of Services headed by councillor Kika Mata include remodelling of the end of the road in Cala Barraca to improve traffic flow and the transfer of the parking zone for the Granadella free shuttle service. After the numerous complaints from residents in response to the chaos caused by the pilot of the Granadella shuttle service last summer, the parking zone has been moved to the municipal area at La Guardia, a reception area for visitors who can park their cars and travel down into the Granadella cove by shuttle. As before, access to the cove will be restricted during the peak hours by the use of a barrier which will be lowered once the parking in the cove itself is full. The restriction will come into force once the bidding process to provide the shuttle service has been completed. Until then access to the cove will be unrestricted all day. The parking zone has space for 69 cars whilst there is also parking available in the surrounding streets such as Carrer de La Falzia, all of which have been cleared and repainted to assist parking. A bus stop has already been installed with benches and suitable shade whilst an information panel will provide details about Granadella, both about the cove and beach area and the forestry zone. Cala Barraca has long been a problem with too many vehicles trying to access to narrow zone, often causing traffic flow problems at the very bottom. In response the Ayuntamiento has created a small roundabout to help resolve the issue, finally removing parking from the very end of the road which has caused difficult in manoeuvring for vehicles in the past. An area has been marked for motorcycles as well as specific parking zones for those with reduced mobility. The Ayuntamiento has also been cleaning up the coastal zone along the Primer Montañar between the port and the Arenal. Story from: Javeamigos

Baleària Port recycles more than 250 tons of waste packaging in three years

June 6th
Baleària Port, the Dénia maritime station, has recycled more than 250 tons of waste packaging in three years thanks to a selective collection system carried out together with Ecoembes, an organization dedicated to protecting the environment through recycling and the ecodesign of packaging in Spain, with which it signed a collaboration agreement in 2015. The recycled quantity is approximately equivalent to what a municipality of 19,000 inhabitants can generate. 75% of the waste collected during the three years were plastic containers and cans of soft drinks, while the rest was paper and cardboard. From:Las Provincias

SeGuía Project results revealed at conference hosted by AMJASA

June 8th
Since the beginning of 2018, the Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua (FNCA), a group of professionals which seeks a change in water management policy to achieve more rational and sustainable actions, has been carrying out a study to prepare a risk management plan for drought, a situation that is becoming increasing likely due to climate change. It has been working closely with the municipal water company AMJASA and representatives of groups concerned with the management of water supply and its use at the domestic and industrial level. Yesterday Thursday 7th June the first results of the SeGuía Project were presented in a conference held at Xàbia's desalination plant which was attended by mayor José Chulvi and representatives from the Hydrological Planning Office of the Confederación Hidrográfica del Júcar (CHJ) and AMJASA.

Some of the measures proposed by the project for the prevention phase include the need to raise awareness through specialised campaigns with actions such as using the water bill as an instrument of communication to customers aware of the real cost of water from its origin to the tap. In addition a revision of the tariffs has also been proposed to penalise high consumption of water during drought periods as well as the implementation of an EcoTax which would help fund awareness campaigns, water saving campaigns and improvements to the distribution network. The project also calls for the investigation of a more sustainable urban model with more effective houses which incorporate systems for the catchment and use of rainwater and the reuse of wastage for irrigation. The study also calls for the promotion of 'Mediterranean gardens' that require much less irrigation. In addition to those which look at improving the efficiency of the supply network, increasing the capacity of the town's desalination plant with a fifth frame so that there is some room for expansion during periods of drought and taking advantage of rainwater for the irrigation of public parks and gardens, the measures will be discussed at the next 'Observatori del Agua', a participatory body launched the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia some two years ago to look at water policies. For full story see: Javeamigos

For previous months' News Headlines see: News Headlines Archive

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