Algarve, we have a problem

Or actually, we have three rather big environmental problems in the south of Portugal. Want to know what they are and how to solve them? Read on!

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine January 2017

 

Oil drillings

The problem: the oil and gas drillings that are already taking place in the Algarve or planned to happen soon. Feared is that these drillings will lead to earthquakes, damage to the sea floor, noise pollution (for marine creatures), chemical pollution (because of the fracking fluids), etc., etc. Read more about the proposed exploration of fossil fuels in the south of Portugal here.

The solution: take action if you’re not happy with the planned drillings. There are several demonstrations you can join and petitions you can sign. ASMA is one of the biggest opposition groups.

Picture below by John A. Konrad V

 

Heavy construction

The problem: heavy construction and development, particularly in the coastal areas. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Visit Albufeira or Portimão and say ‘hi’ to massive hotels and giant concrete apartment blocks. Original Portuguese cafés make way for famous international chains (hello golden arches) and some proposed plans for modernising historic town centres try to eliminate all local charm – plans for Olhão include removing the authentic calçadas. Tourism also puts a pressure on water resources (those golf courses don’t keep themselves green) and roads (N125 in August anyone?).

The solution: eco-friendly building and renovating is the way forward. If you’re that keen on constructing and developing, plant trees instead. Also: stick to the rules in nature reserves & keep off the dunes.

Picture below by Jose A.

 

Marine pollution

The problem: although they might look spotless on first sight, the sea and beaches in the Algarve aren’t that clean. More than 5 trillion plastic particles are floating in the world’s oceans. Think this doesn’t happen in our backyard? Think again: the North Atlantic garbage patch (hundreds of kilometres across in size, with sometimes 200,000 plastic bits per square kilometre) is located, as the name already reveals, in the Atlantic Ocean.

The solution: don’t throw rubbish where it doesn’t belong, try to recycle as much as possible, limit your use of plastic and microbeads, and pick up the trash that’s lying on the beach. Read more about marine pollution and what’s being done against it here.

Picture by Pierre Bouras

 

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine January 2017

Posted in Features.