Cartaz Folkfaro 2015.JPG

Think globally, act locally

by SOPHIE MCCARRICK [email protected]

When looking into the future of planet earth, it is hoped by all 14 members of the Glocal association in Faro that its longevity will be prolonged substantially with just a small amount of help from the Algarve community.

Beginning with the vision of founder Mariana Almeida, Glocal Faro was born on December 12, 2009, with the aims of contributing to bringing a halt to climate change.

Glocal comes from the word ‘Glocalisation’, which refers to an individual, a group, a division, a unit, organisation or community that is motivated and able to think about the health of the planet as a whole and take action in their local surroundings.

Association Coordinator Vanessa Sousa told the Algarve Resident: “Our idea at Glocal is that by working together in our community we can contribute to world climate and energy change. By promoting and implementing sustainable living in environmentally friendly ways, we believe that we can make changes for the better.”

The Glocal initiative aims to bring all of the regions municipalities together in order to make positive alterations in everyday living.

Following these changes, it is believed that not only better health and welfare will be achieved, but also the quality of life all residents experience here.

A main focus point of Glocal Faro is encouraging alternative ways of transportation in the city, such as cycling, walking, public transportation, canoeing, skating plus more, as sustainable ways of mobility.  

On December 17 last year a ‘Cycle Chic’ event was held by the group in Faro where more than 60 supporters gathered in the evening for a bike ride around the city followed by dinner.

The evening was intended to demonstrate that bicycles can be used in all circumstances, even if it is of an evening when an individual may be dressed formally for dinner or a special occasion.

Urban agriculture

Another area that Glocal brings predominant attention to is Urban Agriculture which promotes the growing, processing and distributing of food within the city.

On the first Sunday of every month, the association holds a “swop-shop” at the Faro Municipal Market, where people can come along and trade items between themselves.

Items such as fresh produce, homemade foods or personal unused belongings that may be of use to another person can all be traded at the market.

The idea of having more planting beds throughout Faro is something Glocal also feel strongly about and aim to encourage residents to create their own planting areas in suitable places that they may not use, such as windows, spacious balconies and personal gardens.

On March 24, the Glocal members will dedicate the day to cleaning and planting.

In the morning, specific areas of Faro that suffer from excessive litter and uncleanliness will be given special attention, followed by an afternoon of planting shrubs and trees throughout the city.

Vanessa Sousa said: “Everyone is invited to join us in our events – the more support we have, the better. People have to start realising that we are all responsible for the future of the planet and that each individual can make such a big impact. It only takes the world’s communities to start working together locally to make global changes for the better.

“However, getting the message across to Algarve residents is not proving to be an easy thing to do.”

Sustainable living plan submitted

Glocal member and supporter Michael Ferrada said: “We are really trying to bring the communities of the Algarve together to work with us. It really is frustrating when just so little by a single individual needs to be done, yet people do not support what we are trying to achieve. If people just looked at our cause with an open mind, there would be such positive progress made.”

As the Algarve currently does not have a ‘Sustainable Living’ plan implemented, Glocal have sent a suggested plan to AMAL, the association representing Algarve Câmaras.

A response is still awaited and, in the meantime, Glocal continue to place additional pressure on AMAL to present and implement a plan for the region.

Glocal is a non-profit organisation and works solely from its own financing, which is why there are no other events planned following the March 24 clean-up.

“We plan our events one by one because we have to, but I can reassure everyone that immediately after our next event we will be in search of further inspiration in order to set the date for another great initiative,” Vanessa Sousa said.

To take part in the upcoming event or for more information about Glocal please contact Vanessa on 916 067 390 or Michael on 919 070 032 or email on [email protected] or visit

Click here to follow the Algarve Resident on facebook