The growing trend for smart sustainable tourism projects is the subject of a conference organised by the Ireland Portugal Business Network (IPBN) on Thursday, May 30. Entitled ‘The Future of the Algarve: Circular Economy & Smart Sustainability Development’, the event will be held at the Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa, Carvoeiro.
“The Algarve, like most regions, is living as if we have more than one planet. In fact, the ecological footprint shows that if everyone in the world consumed as much as the average person in the Algarve, we’d need three planets to support us,” says Declan Conway, member of the IPBN Algarve committee and CEO of Global Sustainability Initiative (GSI).
“A complete new approach to a circular and sustainable economy is required so that it can sustain the local community, visiting tourists, biodiversity, food, fauna and wildlife, without contributing to growing global ecological problems,” he adds.
The IPBN says that smart sustainability also represents a massive business opportunity to redesign infrastructure, housing, energy, water and food supply and a new approach to healthcare and wellness.
The UN has designed a framework for this called the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and this event will discuss how the Algarve can respond to these goals. Indeed, the opportunity exists for the Algarve to be an example to other regions on how future communities can co-exist with nature so that holiday destinations are not damaging the environment and disrupting local communities.
“We are delighted to welcome Declan Conway, Andrew Coutts, Charles Weston-Baker, Andrew McAdam and Marc Rechter to have an open conversation about what needs to happen to achieve these goals and leverage the advantages the Algarve has in terms of natural capital, culture and heritage to create business opportunities in the circular economy and for sustainable development,” says Dearbháile Banahan, Chairwoman of the IPBN Algarve Committee.
Registration is free but must be submitted before Friday, May 24.