© Pedro Menezes
© Pedro Menezes
© Câmara Municipal do Porto Santo
© Neide Paixão
© Câmara Municipal do Porto Santo
© Élvio Sousa
© Susana Fontinha
© Élvio Sousa
© Francisco Fernandes
© António Aguiar
© Susana Fontinha
© Élvio Sousa
© Pedro Menezes
© Filipe Viveiros
© Élvio Sousa
© Pedro Menezes

Local community participation



The participation and involvement of the local community in the preparation process of the application of the Biosphere Reserve of the Island of Porto Santo occurred since the intention was announced, with a public session held in early January 2018 in the city of Porto Santo. A number of contacts were made with representatives of local public and private institutions to disseminate the objectives of the MAB Programme and its importance for the sustainable development of Porto Santo and to welcome participatory proposals for the establishment of the Biosphere Reserve of the Island of Porto Santo.

Since the announcement of the application, several initiatives have contributed to the enlightenment and involvement of the community. The inclusion of activities in the Environmental Education Programme for the Basic Schools of the 1st Cycle focusing only on the application, involving about 100 students monthly, and the representation of the Municipality of Porto Santo in the Eco-Schools councils of all the educational establishments of the island, has enabled the establishment of common goals and objectives within the school communities and, simultaneously, their involvement in this application. There has also been an effort to disseminate information about the Reserve to the community, through newsletters and information media, available in the main public places of the island. The "Porto Santo - UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: Opportunities and Challenges" event, organised by the GT-PSRB, from 28th to 30th November 2018, aimed at the general public, was important due to its objective of publicising this UNESCO award and raising awareness on how this award can contribute to the promotion of the area’s natural and heritage values and to the development of the local economy based on sustainable tourism. This initiative has proved to be of significant importance within the local community, giving the stakeholders a spirit of belonging to a land with the potential to become a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This initiative was validated by the Regional Office for Education as a training action for teachers and included the pedagogical workshop "Porto Santo - Biosphere Reserve: What are the Contributions from the Eco-Schools Programme?" It focused on the importance of education and the Eco-Schools in the involvement of the local community in the Biosphere Reserves. The event garnered the interest of about 80 people.

Cartaz - Programa "Porto Santo - Reserva da Biosfera da UNESCO: Oportunidades e Desafios"

 

Official opening of the event "Porto Santo – UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: Opportunities and Challenges"

 

(Re)discovering Porto Santo, 2018 - The “Salão” House (Re)discovering Porto Santo, 2018 - Columbus Museum (Re)discovering Porto Santo, 2018 - Interpretation of “crochet” walls (Re)discovering Porto Santo, 2018 - Reforestation Project

 

From 20th March to 22nd April 2019, the improved version of the application dossier, including the proposed Action Plan, was subject to public consultation, enabling both consultation and contributions by the population. 24th June commemorates the Day of the County and the celebrations involve the whole local community in a week of cultural entertainment, culminating in the presentation of the traditional parade through the main streets of the city. Taking the current application into consideration and the importance of Porto Santo’s involvement in it, the CMPS decided that the annual theme for 2019 would be: BIOSPHERE RESERVE OF PORTO SANTO, whilst also paying tribute to local personalities and entities, which deserve special mention for their service to the community and the Island of Porto Santo and its identity. In collaboration with the local radio station and with the aim of publicising the application to the community, 28 spots, two per week, will be broadcast from July to September 2019, highlighting aspects of the cultural identity of Porto Santo and its natural heritage, reinforcing the importance of this application and promoting community involvement in it.

Within the scope of this application and in order to promote knowledge of aspects related to the culture of Porto Santo, as well as encourage the involvement of the local community, the Museums of Porto Santo – Columbus House and Brum do Canto Centre, with the support of DRAPS, developed a series of activities open to the entire community and others specific to the school population, which addressed topics which range from the Island’s discovery by the Portuguese navigators, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, to traditions such as songs, resilience of construction using materials from endogenous resources, among others. Seeking to promote and contribute to the revitalisation of local crafts, artisans were invited and the community was challenged to listen to their stories and produce pieces in workshops. In order to make these stories more credible for the younger students, the students of the Senior Citizen University of Porto Santo were invited to visit the various schools to talk about "their" past, their stories of a Porto Santo different from what the youth know today. In all these initiatives, the importance of the current application and its objectives was highlighted to the participants.

 

Project "Flavours of My Land" Project "Songs from yesteryear" in school

 

Also within the scope of this application, DRAPS and the Senior Citizen University of Porto Santo implemented the Project "This is my, your, our Porto Santo", in the EB1/Pré (pre-school and primary school) of Porto Santo with students from the 1st cycle of Basic Education. The project included two themes "Flavours of my land" and "Songs of yesteryear". The first consisted in the elaboration of traditional recipes such as the escarpiada (typical bread), salada de serralha (sow whistle salad) and rosquilhas (ring-shaped pastry), with the help of students from the Senior University. The second theme involves the learning of songs and nursery rhymes from the past, which have been collected by the students of the University. The development of these and other projects, together with the school community, enabled, in coordination with the Regional Office for Education, that in the next school year the subject of Artistic Expression of the 1st cycle of basic education will include songs and nursery rhymes of Porto Santo in its curricular programme. In addition, it has also resulted in local handicraft techniques, namely through the use of palm hearts, being included in the visual art and technological education subjects of the 2nd and 3rd cycles.

Craft with heart of palm

 

All these initiatives resulted in the population being informed and mobilised in a proactive and participatory process, giving legitimacy and credibility to the application process, as well as enabling the collection of contributions for the constitution and proper functioning of the Biosphere Reserve of the Island of Porto Santo.

 

 

 

 

 

Promoters

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Logo SRA        Logo IFCN

 

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