By: ELOISE WALTON
THE 13TH CONGRESS on the Algarve at the Cultural Centre in Lagos last week featured presentations and discussions on a range of regional topics, most notably about the sea.
The congress, which was organised by the Racal Clube in Silves with support from Lagos Câmara, began in 1980 as a biennial multi-disciplinary event to promote the Algarve’s sustainable development through the exchange of ideas.
After an opening ceremony, presided over by Faro’s Civil Governor Isilda Gomes and the President of Lagos Câmara Julio Barroso, panels of experts were present throughout the congress giving talks and presenting data on a range of projects that have been carried out in the region.
Throughout the three days, three different lecture theatres ran talks simultaneously where the public could interact and ask questions to the panel of experts.
Topics for discussion this year were grouped into a broad range of areas which included history, biology, developments, tourism, investigation and the environment.
The Via Algarviana, the Algarve Way walk was discussed by José Ministro, a representative from the environmental group Almargem during one of the sessions.
“We have been in contact with British organisations who have many years experience in sign posting and publicising walks across Britain and are learning a lot from them” said José Ministro, adding “We are hoping to obtain and use funds to develop the Via Algarviana and ensure that it has all of the facilities necessary for walkers including sanitary facilities and accommodation”.
Studies carried out within the tourism sector were presented and discussed, most notably on health and hygiene within hotels and their management and maintenance.
At the end of each afternoon, a panel of specialist guest speakers also gave a talk on the broad subject of the sea and its relationship with the region’s history, population, geography and economy. Also discussed was the precious nature of water in the region and the need for its conservation.
To celebrate the event, a different cultural activity was organised for each evening, beginning on November 15 with the inaugural opening of an exhibition entitled Lagos and the sea within the gallery of Lagos cultural centre. Lagos Jazz Orchestra played a concert in the centre’s auditorium to mark the end of the second day of the Congress.
The event was officially closed with a dinner at the Hotel Tivoli Lagos where conclusions and recommendations for the congress were discussed.
For more information about the Racal Clube and the Congress on the Algarve, please email [email protected] or telephone 282 442 587.
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