GOB matters. May 2015

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GOB matters is a section of Roqueta, a monthly magazine in English, written by Chita Laurie.

Work on the Road between Mahόn and Alaior

GOB announced earlier in April that the Consell, out of respect for Menorca’s Talayotic inheritance and its candidature for World Heritage status, had abandoned the idea of making macro-roundabouts on the road between Alaior and Mahόn in the preservation area of rustic land. Instead, it had decided to redesign the two existing half built cement structures and combine modern with ancient materials by placing prehistoric flagstones on top of them as a reminder of Menorca’s prehistoric culture. (See attached photograph.) Apparently, the flagstones were found nearly a year ago when making the enlargements to Es Mila. And the Consell also promised to collaborate with the zoo and the adjoining farms that use ecologically sustainable methods in the area to make a theme park on sustainability which would certainly be of great value to tourism.

That announcement was made on 1 April 2015 to the enjoyment of all.

The truth, unfortunately, was different and work restarted, after nearly three months of abandonment, in the last week of March without any such philanthropic considerations. It had been stopped at the end of last year because the construction companies required an additional 38% of the estimated costs. By law, 10% is permitted if it is justifiable. Negotiations allowing work to resume have not been made public and they commenced with the two most controversial roundabouts of Rafal Rubi and Argentina. More and more people, now seeing the reality of the constructions, are questionning the ethical, aesthetic, environmental and economic reasoning of those responsible for this project. Perhaps alternatives will have to be found after the elections in May bearing in mind that the Consell, in mid April, was advised that only 19 percent of the work has been certificated by the UTE. And it was reminded that if it is not all finished by the end of the year, the investment will have to be reprogrammed.

Renewable Energy

On the 28th March, there was a conference against petroleum prospecting in the seas around the Balearic Islands. Stopping prospecting is even more reasonable when there are alternatives to petrol use. This is not only an important possibility but a necessary reality. The engineer, Eduardo Furro, presented a paper declaring that Menorca needs to make a change in its energy use and explained how a 100% renewable energy model could be achieved. “We have the necessity for such a scheme for future generations as well as for economic, social and environmental concerns. The problem we have is in the will to do it: we have to change the legislation, the pressure of the petrol and electricity companies and above all we must increase social awareness and initiatives.”

To gain 100% renewable energy can be achieved only in steps. We have to adopt efficient and responsible consumption to avoid any waste energy. Though legislation puts many obstacles in connecting certain types of electricity production with the grid, there should be no such problem with solar panels for heating water, nor for biomas (renewable energy from organic and industrial waste materials) nor for mini windfarms (used especially for areas at a distance from the main grid). Nor should there be any obstacle to stopping the CO2 emmissions and contaminated precipitations from the central power station in Mahόn which affect its population.

Advances can be made only by changing the legislation for the needs of society, and by changing the powers that the large corporations have serving their own interests.

Not only can renewable energy be used for domestic and industrial use, but, also, with the improvement and use of electrical vehicles and so reducing contamination. In addition the elimination of fossil fuels and the dependence on petrol would be of enormous economic advantage and add to the quality of the environment and the image of Menorca as a Reserve of the Biosphere.

This is not pie in the sky and the technical details of how Eduardo Furrό explains the transition to 100% renewable energy can be seen on the GOB website. www.gobmenorca.com Menorca 100% renovables and the attachment Efurro-Menorca_100%_201503

Es Viver

Now that the good weather has arrived, more or less, gardeners will be thinking of planting out their kitchen gardens. Es Viver, the garden centre run by GOB, has produced many high quality nursery plants noted for their excellent taste.

They have different types of lettuces, tomatoes, aubergines, onions, leeks, courgettes, pumpkins and much, much more. They are all local varieties adapted to the climate and all beneficial for our health.

In addition, Es Viver sells fruit trees produced ecologically from Arboles de Algendar, with a variety of citrus trees especially grown for the environmental conditions of Menorca.

Of course, also available are garden plants and plants and advice on reed beds for the purification of waste water.

Es Viver is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10.00 – 13.30. Situated near Mahon it is at the side of Mestral, on the road that joins the airport to the Mahon/Ciudadella Road.

Courses

Look on the gobwebsite for courses run by GOB. Forexample, there is a three day course at the end of May, which analyses the questions of how to manage the environment economically and use nature in tourism. It also looks at saving energy and how to apply it in agricultural management. It questions how to promote the economy while conserving the countryside.

It will take into account the experience of more than 100 years of the British Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and its 200 natural reserves. A representative will be explaining how they manage the environment and tourism.

The program will include talks on the network of rambles in the Sierra de Tramuntana from the point of view of walkers, as well as its management and design. On the programme are discussions and talks on the network of open spaces of Cataluña and their use. Also, how climate change affects farming throughout Europe will be considered.

The theoretical classes will be accompanied by practical visits to agricultural farms and places of high natural value. The price for the three days includes meals and excursions.

If you would like further information, the GOB office will be able to help you. Tel: 971 350 762.