Faro municipal theatre hosts int’l security conference


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FARO-BASED shopping centre Forum Algarve and the Associação Humanitária dos Bombeiros Voluntários de Faro, the humanitarian association of Faro Bombeiros, are organising a conference at Faro Municipal Theatre this weekend to debate the environment, natural disasters, security, terrorism and information management.

Specialists in these fields from Portugal and abroad will be participating in the two day debate, taking place on October 28 and 29, with the aim of sharing their experiences and expertise.

The event, entitled I Conferência Euro-Atlântica – O Sistema de Socorro Ideal, the first Euro-Atlantic Conference – the ideal assistance system, is the first of its kind to take place in the Algarve and will welcome speakers and moderators from the US, UK, Germany and Sweden, as well as from the host country.

London Metropolitan Police Commander, Chris Alisson and Germany’s Home Office Minister, Beate Coellen, are among the list of international speakers due to take part.

Specific topics to be discussed include, among others, the threat of a flu epidemic, climatic change, security issues associated with terrorism threats in the US and UK and the security at the 2006 World Cup. This conference, aimed at professionals from the related fields, follows on from the successful Civil Protection Week held at the shopping centre earlier this year, which sought to raise awareness among the general public of public safety, the problem of forest fires, the role played by the emergency services and the assistance systems that are in place.

A press conference held at Forum Algarve last week to announce the staging of the international conference was attended by the Civil Governor of the Algarve, António Pina, the President of Faro Câmara, José Apolinário, Carlos Costa, vice president of Forum Algarve, Ánibal da Silveira of Faro Bombeiros, Abel Gomes of the Serviço Nacional de Bombeiros e Protecção Civil, Maria de Lurdes Inês secretary of the Associação Humanitária dos Bombeiros Voluntários de Faro and Miguel Reyes of Jumbo hypermarkets, one of the event’s sponsors.

José Apolinário thanked Forum Algarve for its involvement in organising the conference: “It is excellent to see private companies recognising the importance of social responsibility.”

The Faro Câmara President also said he was very pleased that the event was being given both a national and international dimension. He particularly highlighted the fact that this will be the first time that Faro Municipal Theatre has hosted a conference. He said: “Although our main objective is for the theatre to be home to culture and the arts, it is also a venue for seminars and conferences of this type. This conference signals the beginning of a new era for the theatre and the commencement of its use for this type of event.” He also spoke of his confidence that this conference will contribute to improving local assistance systems and took the opportunity to praise the courage and commitment of the region’s bombeiros.

Civil Governor, António Pina, spoke next and praised Forum Algarve for its interest in the lives of local people. “You have understood your role in the local community perfectly,” he said.

He then went on to speak about the major role the bombeiros play in everybody’s daily lives. “The bombeiros are called upon in just about every situation,” he said. “Drought, floods, high winds, road accidents, fires and even when we lose our house keys. They are always there to help. The bombeiros are an essential part of our society,” he said. He welcomed the conference, stating that it will come at a time for reflection among civil protection organisations at local, national and international level and that such conferences could only help to upgrade civil protection.