With a shock, I read that Vilamoura’s future development of Cidade Lacustre could be rejected due to the impact of rising sea levels (October 3 edition).
Vilamoura is a cornerstone of the Algarve economy and its marina the region’s biggest tourism attraction, adding value far beyond the borders of Vilamoura.
Furthermore, its development as a low-density resort, with extensive green areas and five golf courses, is an international case study of sustainable development.
This is reinforced by the ISO certifications of 9001 (quality management) and 14001 (environmental management) of Inframoura, its infrastructure managing organisation and the marina, including the beaches.
These ISO certificates were pioneers in the resort and tourism world when they were attributed some 20 years ago.
Criticism regarding any agricultural impact lack any substance and can only be described as a Trumpian distortion of reality.
Regarding the environmental impact, these are today highly regulated and can only happen within legal frameworks anyway.
Interestingly, critics ignore the existence of 250ha of protected private wetland adjoining the area to be developed and within the Vilamoura boundaries.
Instead of threatening this fundamental part of regional development, the public and all stakeholders should remember the pioneering nature of Vilamoura – back to its founding days in the 60s when it was praised internationally for its vision of tourism development or in the 90s, when under the name of Vilamoura XXI, the expansion into the second part was pushed forward under the strict guidelines of ISO (International Standard Organisation), which included the five golf courses, a first in the world.
Rising sea levels is a global phenomenon and new to everyone on the planet.
Accordingly, Vilamoura can again be a pioneer, showing a way in sustainable development as, today, vision and collaboration are needed to secure its future as a destination, home and place where being and spending time are regarded as desirable and meaning, evermore, sustainable.
Ex-Board Director, Marina de Vilamoura, Lusotur SA, Lusotur Golfes SA