June and July 2018 News Headlines

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

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