Legal proceedings for the Son Bou hotels. Help and Redress.

GOB is starting the process of litigation against the contentious administration for its intention to make even worse the aesthetic impact of the two large hotels in Son Bou. The Alaior Town Council approved a collection of plots in green areas as if they were building land.

It does not seem logical, in these times, that large hotels built in the seventies, can maintain the same square metres and enlarge the volume of its buildings on the front line of the sea. This way is not seasonal. It causes overcrowding and degrades the image of the Island.

The legal costs are estimated to be about 14,000 euros. Can you help to make this viable by giving a donation in the following ways:

  • Bank transfer: ES35 2056 0012 2710 0140 3920
  • Bank card or Paypal: click here

In “concepto” put Son Bou Continue reading Legal proceedings for the Son Bou hotels. Help and Redress.

This Sunday, Open Doors at the Centre for Recuperation of Wild Animals

This Sunday, 4 June, from 10 am to 2 pm, the day of “Open Doors” is an opportunity to visit the Centre for the Recuperation of Wild Animals in Menorca. You will see the animals living there and learn about the work done to care for wild animals of Menorca. This day is made possible with the collaboration of Lithica and the Town Hall of Ciutadella, to celebrate World Environment Day as well as the Land Stewardship Week. Continue reading This Sunday, Open Doors at the Centre for Recuperation of Wild Animals

Catalogue of Land Stewardship Scheme Farms

A catalogue of farms in the Land Stewardship Scheme is now available, in which you will find all the information necessary for each producer on the Scheme, the products for sale and the contacts required for making your purchase. Not all the farms that are part of the Land Stewardship Scheme are listed, only those that have products for direct sale. Continue reading Catalogue of Land Stewardship Scheme Farms

1388 animals were attended at the Centre for Recuperation of Wild Animals during 2022

GOB presented the annual report for 2022 for the Centre for Recuperation of Wild Animals in Menorca. During the year, they cared for 1388 of 81 different species. There were 1800 visitors, including schoolchildren from 13 different educational centres, people attending family workshops, and other visits in general.

The majority of animals that enter the animal recuperation centre have suffered from some form of human activity: on roads, power lines, collisions with large windows, dangers from urban environments, the introduction of invasive species… Our purpose is to try to diminish the negative consequences of human activity, by collecting and trying to make as many animals as possible better, learning from them and giving essential environmental education. Disseminating the impacts and consequences on wildlife is a main objective. The information that we gather helps to make proposals for reducing the reasons for their admission.

Tortoises with 652 brought in, are by far the most assisted species. Most of them have come from captivity, but 175 from accidents. As for the rest of the species, the main admissions are bird chicks that have been born in towns, fallen out of their nests and abandoned. Most of these chicks are those of swallows and sparrows, as well as owls, kestrels, thrushes and green finches. Many birds that are brought in are the result of collisions especially on roads (47). Road collisions are suffered particularly by tortoises, hedgehogs, owls, kestrels and barn owls. Notable, also, are collisions with large windows undetected by birds flying rapidly, resulting in serious accidents.

Power lines are also causes of repeated accidents, through collisions or electrocution. 35 have been brought in because of electrocution. Those affected are usually large birds such as ravens, raptors and gulls. Other causes for animals being taken in are the abandoned fishing nets and plastic ropes that affect gulls and especially marine turtles. Attacks by dogs and cats on wild animals have caused 19 admissions. Also notable are 19 cases of birds falling into water tanks, most worrying of which are the raptors. It is possible to reduce this problem by putting floating ramps so that the animals that fall in accidentally can get out.

Exotic invasive species are a problem for wild animals. Notable is the case of water turtles from Florida some of which have been freed into the wild and are examples that have established themselves in different damp areas of Menorca. Now the law prohibits owning these turtles, and the Centre of Recuperation is where people who have any should take them and never release them into the wild. In 2022 we received 28 exotic turtles.

The Centre of Recuperation of Menorca is able to work thanks to the enormous help of many people and entities. Its management by GOB is enabled thanks to a collaboration agreement with the Consorci de Fauna de les Illes Balears (COFIB). Essential, also, is the help of the Lithica Foundation.

They give us the space for the Centre. GOB also thanks the veterinary clinic of Jaume Pons, the Consell Insular (Menorca Island Governing Council) and the town Halls of Ciutadella, Maó, Es Mercadal, Ferreries, Sant Lluis and Es Castell. Grateful thanks also for the help of local police, the Environment Agencies and of SEPRONA (The Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil).

Special thanks go to the people who have contributed to the funding of the Centre, sponsoring an animal, and to all the people who have brought in injured animals to the Centre for care. Grateful thanks, also, to the shops and businesses that have provided food. And, of course, to the whole team of volunteers, who have been a key element without whom we could not function.

The Annual Report for the year 2022 can be seen in full detail here.

Positive Tourism (8) – Posidonia on the beaches

This is the latest announcement as part of the campaign for Positive Tourism that we have been publishing in the last few weeks on some parts of tourism that need to be managed in a different way.

On this occasion, the chosen theme is the presence of posidonia on beaches. It is of great value but even so is removed from the parts of the coastline with the most tourists.

This peculiar plant, that is colonising the sea, that makes flowers and can live thousands of years, is intrinsically linked with the formation of the beaches on our islands. Scientific studies estimate that most of the sand is made from organisms that reproduce in the posidonia meadows.

The debris that reaches the seashore helps to capture the sand moved with the wind to form dune systems. They are also important for curbing the effects of winter storms.

Posidonia captures large quantities of CO2, holding the carbon in its stems and releasing oxygen. It constitutes one of the richest ecosystems at animal level in our marine environment.

Scientific publications suggest that posidonia could be the longest living species of the biosphere. Samples taken from the waters of Formentera show them to be more than 100,000 years old.

However, it grows very slowly, so that it is vulnerable to human aggressive activity. In our environment, the indiscriminate anchoring of many boats, the discharge of poorly purified emissions, brine returned to the sea from desalination plants, and the disturbance of mud that clouds the waters caused by aggressive use of motorboat engines, are some of the causes of degradation that are being observed.

In the last few years, legal protection has progressed for this species that forms a habitat considered a priority at a European level. It is no longer removed from most of the natural beaches and now there are surveillance boats to stop anchoring over the posidonia meadows.

Yet, how surprising that the tourist industry still calls for its removal from urbanized beaches. With the knowledge we have of the outstanding contribution made by this marine plant, its presence should be valued. Posidonia is not dirt.

What is dirt is the massive presence of plastics that are a consequence of a production system generating an enormous quantity of non-biodegradable rubbish, which is left uncontrolled in the environment. Going to the root of this global problem by stopping buying from providers that do not evolve into using biodegradable materials ought to be a universal commitment and a general request should be heard from tourist spokespersons given that they represent the most powerful economic activity in the archipelago.

You can see other announcements for the tourism campaign by clicking here Positive tourism

Binigarba starts restitution time

The destruction to the land carried out at Binigarba has to be restored. This week a restitution project should have been presented and it has two months in which to be executed. If not, coercive, monthly fines will be imposed.

The municipal resolution was that material poured in from other excavations must be removed, that the areas affected by the earthworks must be restored as well as the damaged sections of dry stonewalls. The restoration project must also comply with the criteria set down by the Nature Network committee.

At the site of Binigarba, between Ferreries and Ciutadella, an attempt was made to extract sand as if from an industrial quarry. As no corresponding authorisations were obtained, the operation was considered as an improvement of agricultural land.

GOB warned that the project, presented by the Binigarba Rural Society of Menorca SRM in collaboration with the builder and marketer of aggregates, Valeariano Allès Canet SL, was planned to take place over an area of 127,527 square meters with a demolition volume of 444.628 cubic meters (hundreds of thousands of cubic meters). It was explained in the Annual Report that Valeriano Allès would make the investment of conditioning the land in exchange for the available sand usable for construction. In other words, it was the project for a quarry previously denied now presented in another format.

In 2007, a license was granted for an agricultural conditioning project. After some months, GOB advised that the activity taking place was outside the authorised area and that materials from other operations were being poured in. The Directorate General of Industry ordered the suspension of the work warning that it expressly denied the extraction of sand in this place. A disciplinary file for urban planning was opened and the activity was stopped.

Sometime after, the developers submitted a reformulated project and restarted the extractions without waiting for a licence. At that time, Binigarba was already part of the Nature Network 2000, for European protected natural areas. New intervention by GOB stopped the work that lacked legal support.

Finally, the developers did not accept the conditions set by the environmental assessment and the new petition for a licence was denied. Now the obligation for restitution of areas worked on illegally has been agreed.

The time allowed for the restitution has begun. The decision of the Ciutadella Town Council was on 29 March 2023 then there was a month available to present the restitution project to remove material dumped from other excavations, the restitution of earthworks carried out as well as the restoration of the drystone walls affected (that GOB estimates as being 950 metres.)

The Binigarba case has lasted 19 years and has meant constant work for monitoring and verifying repeated violations. Finally, it seems that the game of influences has ended and bringing to a head an environmental conscience has an enormous price.

Previous information Binigarba: the argument that was lost

Vegetables and fruit with the best ecological footprint

Fruit and vegetables produced on the Land Stewardship Farms have an ecological footprint of 66% less than the average of farms at state level. This fact is important because we all eat several times a day. Food is one of the principal activities taking up land at a global level. It is also a major emitter of greenhouse gases. Continue reading Vegetables and fruit with the best ecological footprint

Conscientious Ecology