On World Nature Conservation Day, the Porto Santo Sem Lixo Marinho (Porto Santo Without Marine Waste) campaign makes known João and Tristão, the mascots that represent it and that will appeal to residents and visitors to protect the island’s biodiversity and reduce plastic waste.
A ilha do Porto Santo recebe dois ajudantes especiais, o João e o Tristão, para sensibilizarem turistas e residentes para a premência de libertar a natureza dos resíduos de plástico que prejudicam a vida marinha e poluem as praias locais.
The island of Porto Santo receives two special helpers, João and Tristão, to make tourists and residents aware of the urgent need to free nature from the plastic residues that harm marine life and pollute local beaches.
“Every year, 8 million tons of plastic waste generated on land reach the ocean, causing irreparable damage to marine fauna and flora. A study, in southern Portugal, found plastics in the gastrointestinal tracts of 22.5% of the 160 seabirds analyzed, said Ângela Morgado, Executive Director of ANP|WWF, representative of the project. “This Porto Santo Sem Lixo Marinho (Porto Santo Without Marine Waste) campaign aims to make people aware of the need to think about what they bring, consume and what they discard on the island. The impact of this type of durable waste is enormous here, and the potential for accumulation represents a problem that does not depend only on the authorities for its resolution – it is up to all of us to be part of the waste management process, through a reduction in the use of disposable materials, a bet on reusable materials, on recycling. We believe that this campaign will contribute to the differentiation and enhancement of the island of Porto Santo”.
The campaign, developed by the NOSSA agency, is the third step of the one-and-a-half year work carried out by the project partners, and aims to inform and encourage people to change their habits, so that they protect the island’s nature and biodiversity, nowadays considered a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. João (a monk seal) and Tristão (a grimacing turtle) are introduced to the public through the social networks of the partners, those who adhere to the label and also through the Muppis spread across the island. #portosantosemlixomarinho also has the support of key partners, such as Ana Aeroportos, Porto Santo Line and local hotels.
Over the last year, data collection and sampling of the Community Management Plan and Participatory Process were carried out, as well as various waste collection initiatives on the beaches of Porto Santo. The APP Beached Litter Reporter was recently created. This Android app is specifically designed to encourage communities to make relevant data available while gaining more awareness of the marine litter problem, combining citizen engagement and modern technology to help combat marine litter. The application uses a harmonized list of items agreed upon in OSPAR directives.
In June, at an event that brought together entities such as the Porto Santo City Council, the Regional Secretariat for the Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change and the Norwegian Embassy, the results of the first phase of the project were presented and the seal “Porto Santo Sem Lixo Marinho” (Porto Santo Without Marine Waste) to the participating establishments, together with the signing of commitments by the entities present.
The criteria for the Seal were defined based on various participatory moments that have been carried out since January 2021, with public and private entities, through a survey and participatory workshops. At the event on June 23, there was a formal moment of signing commitments with the first companies. However, membership can be made at any time throughout 2021. Interested parties simply request more information from the Porto Santo City Council (Rubina Brito: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Porto Santo Sem Lixo Marinho (Porto Santo Without Marine Waste) project intends to lay the foundations for a memorandum of understanding between various public and private actors, in order to stop the escape of plastics into the ocean. It is financed by the Environment Program of the EEA Grants and brings together, as partners, Associação Natureza Portugal, in association with WWF, AIDGLOBAL, Água e Residuos da Madeira, Porto Santo City Council and ARDITI. It also has the support of WWF Norway and the Secretariat for Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change of the Regional Government of Madeira.