August and September 2018 news headlines

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

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

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