The intervention of government ministries considering investment at the end of the economic crisis following the pandemic emergency, must take into account that public money is for generating work at the same time as solving environmental problems. There are many possibilities for directing efforts along these lines. Here are various proposals.
Improving the networks of water and energy, investing in areas of nature and the countryside, in transport, industry, food production and tourism, can all help to revitalize the economy, giving positive results both socially and environmentally.
The paralysation of most of the economic activities and the major brake in international tourism, indicate that the government ministries have an important function in the next few months to try to reactivate the economy. GOB has put forward a series of ideas for investment possibilities.
To the concrete ideas that can be seen below, can be asked some questions that seem opportune now.
For example, this could be the right time to ask for an adaptation of the law to allow town councils to use surplus finances from previous years for investments geared towards environmental sustainability.
It would be a great help to create a service of technical and legal support from the Consell Insular (Menorca Island Government) to assist town councils (especially the smallest) in assessing proposed projects.
It seems necessary to find ways of decentralizing the execution of some activities, such as those approved from sustainable tourism tax (the Eco Tax) or by the Posidonia Committee to speed up processes often held back by local government bureaucracy.
In addition, this is the time to commit to the important work of raising social awareness for the environment. There may be no time like the present for making this possible. The current problems of climate change and the loss of biodiversity are enormous and it is important that everyone, in governments and the public, works together to reverse this old pattern of behaviour and adopt new ways.
The list of ideas put forward here is also an invitation for reflection and debate in order to try to make an improved world without the areas of previous conflict.
- Intensify the detection and repair of leaks in the public water supply.
- Renovate and build large town cisterns to make the best use of rainwater.
- Encourage the renovation of private cisterns.
- Encourage the exploitation of grey water.
- Implement urban systems for sustainable drainage (such as storm tanks, permeable road and car park surfaces, etc) with the aim of reducing floodwater being carried by the sewer system.
- Divert rainwater that collects along the roadsides where there is already a separate network that empties the sewerage system.
- Construct the sewage systems that are waiting to be installed into significant building areas.
- Encourage the construction of green filters for isolated houses without sewerage.
- Equip sewage treatment plants with the systems necessary for reusing the water.
- Redesign electric towers that cause electrocutions to birds.
- Promote thermal solar energy (hot water) on public and private buildings.
- Install photovoltaic solar panels (electricity) on the roofs of schools, sports buildings, car parks, with projects open for public participation for their economic benefit.
- Encourage the thermal advantage of biomass in Menorcan industries based on projects of sustainable forest areas.
- Encourage energy conservation in houses especially thermal insulation.
- Maintain and pave the parts of the Camí de Cavalls that suffer from erosion.
- Take the purified water from Addaia to the Albufera des Grau.
- Expand the network of hostels with the renovation of public and private buildings of interest.
- Carry out the work approved by the Posidonia funds.
- Carry out and decentralize approved activities through the sustainable tourism tax (the Eco tax)
- Eliminate centres of invasive species.
- Remove all the rubbish from public roads.
- Lay cables underground in towns and countryside.
- Clean up uncontrolled rubbish at rubbish tips.
- Reclaim cultivation areas and not lose the structural elements within the landscape mosaic.
- Make safe the section of the Camí de Cavalls between Mahon and Sa Mesquida.
- Construct a bicycle lane between Es Castell and Sant Lluís.
- Help the restructuring of the dairy industry in making workshops at farms that are diversifying their products.
- Encourage initiatives for repairing domestic electrical equipment, furniture and large articles.
- Help companies to adapt and consolidate their telecommunications.
- Promote adaptations that can be made by companies in favour of the environment (rubbish, pollution, carbon footprint…)
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD
- Rent and rehabilitate wasteland around built up areas to make into ecological, non-commercial, kitchen gardens.
- Promote education on kitchen gardens for children with teachers.
- Increase public demand for healthy, local, natural products.
- Include agricultural training sessions aimed at diversification and the production of different foods.
Encourage the reduction in size of massive tourist hotels and transforming the accommodation they provide with significant environmental sustainability.