The island of Porto Santo should soon be considered a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the regional secretary for the Environment of Madeira, Susana Prada, announced today that the application process is in the final phase.
The region has submitted the application document, which has already been subject to the first analysis by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), which gives good indications to the region in this process, underlined the ruler.
“It is our expectation that the Biosphere Reserve of Porto Santo will promote integral and sustainable development and be the engine of a green economy that will result in a real improvement of the well-being and the quality of life of the Porto Santo population and that, at the same time, reduce significant environmental risks and uncontrolled interference with the environment,” he said.
Susana Prada is of the opinion that the award is also the recognition of the quality and differentiation of the territory, besides opening other perspectives.
“By attesting to the quality and excellence of the destination, this award will bring more visibility and certainly more visitors, contributing to blurring the tourist seasonality on the island,” he said.
The minister believes that the award could “reconcile the conservation of natural and cultural heritage with the longing for the socio-economic development of the population while simultaneously contributing to the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and the sustainable development goals set by the UN.”
The mayor of Porto Santo, Idalino Vasconcelos, nevertheless asked for a particular look at what the plan could represent for the island.
“In order to be a Biosphere Reserve we have to be able to highlight the aspects of our identity, we want a Porto Santo where the natural heritage is known and valued, we want sustainable tourism, but that provides employment,” he said.