We’ve reached some major milestones that we had set-up for ourselves. We had many challenges along the way, but acheived great successes too.
But we couldn’t have done all we did without the support of each one of you, all of our donors – small and big - each of our volunteers, and off course all the people that attended meetings, signed petitions and shared the information that we published daily on our website and on our Facebook pages.
And for that we THANK YOU.
Today we want to share with you some of the major success that you where instrumental in helping us with:
- In 2013 – we successfully ensured that Lagos nightlife establishments could remain open until 2h00am. We managed to do a first - getting all the local businesses to support the local initiative. We got people talking to each other - some had not spoken to each other for more than 40 years. We brough a town together for a common cause and healed some relationships along the way.
- In 2014 – we reached thousands of people across the Algarve – in all 16 councils - and alerted them to the upcoming risk of offshore oil and gas exploration. We held over 100 information sessions. We warned about the unfavourable oil contracts signed by the Portuguese government. We warned about the risks and the lack of benefits for the country.
- In 2015 – through sheer public pressure resultant from previous years actions – the Algarve woke-up and ASMAA was instrumental in many communities picking up the anti-oil offshore drilling banner. The Algarve anti-oil awakening started to spread across Portugal, reaching as far as Madeira and Açores. The collective action resulted in GALP/ENI and the Repsol/Partex postponing the deep offshore drilling of the first wells to 2016.
- In 2016 – ASMAA was instrumental through massive collaborative action in getting an embargo against Sousa Cintra’s Portfuel Fracking attempts in Aljezur, and the subsequent cancellation of his contracts by year-end. We run various petitions and raised thousands of signatures. We where instrumental in stopping GALP/ENI and the Repsol/Partex from drilling the planned offshore wells. Forcing them to postpone it to 2017.
- In the first quarter of 2017 – Our collective action saw the 4 Repsol/Partex offshore drilling contracts cancelled as well. But the risk from Galp/ENI remains ... but we will be doing everything in our power to stop them drilling this year, and we will be pushing for the cancelation of their contracts too.
I’m sure that you will agree, that ASMAA has been a key player in safeguarding the Algarve nature and the micro economy of the region. But we could only do that because each one of you in different ways enabled us to do so.
We are extremely grateful for all the people that crossed our path in the past 5 years, all the friendships we developed which has resulted in us maintaining contact with thousands of individuals spread not only across Portugal but also across all continents.
However we’ve reached a major milestone and are now ready to embark on a new path, with many changes occurring shortly in our organisation. Here’s a quick preview of what’s coming:
- ASMAA is expanding to cover the Alentejo region as well.
- ASMAA is busy changing its name to be more descriptive of our aims and objectives.
- ASMAA is now busy altering our articles of association to meet the new path that we will be embarking on.
But one thing remains … we will be counting on you to continue with us in this next journey. A journey that continues to aim for the microeconomic sustainability of the Algarve and Alentejo, as well as its environmental protection, not only of our ocean, coastal regions, but also all the interior areas of these beautiful regions - not only for all of us, but also for all the future generations to come.
We will be actively working in the promotion of these regions, as well as motivating our government for a swift change from a fossil fuel driven economy to an alternative energy driven one, where solar and other environmental friendly sources will play the key role. We will continue with awareness campaigns and actions to protect our ocean and onshore areas from predatory industries.
In the meanwhile, while all the changes are happening in the background, we invite you to join us in Lagos and Aljezur in the coming week.
We will be present at the Discoveries event in Lagos that is running from the 28 April to 1 May, and we will be in Aljezur on the 29 April when we join the international March for the Climate and to Say NO to the Galp/ENI planned offshore well drilling and say YES to Green Energy technologies.
We are looking forward to the next 5 years, and we counting on you to be part of the next journey.
Once again, we say THANK YOU!