A recent report has identified the island of Maio as having the necessary conditions to be considered as part of the UNESCO Biosphere. Biosphere reserves are ‘areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems’.
Consultants identified Maio as having the potential to be an excellent reserve, given its size and the quality of the natural environment as well as being part of Macaronesia (islands in the North Atlantic, belonging to Portugal, Spain and Cape Verde). It is hoped that the formalities will be submitted to UNESCO by September and then the proposal is considered with a decision due in July 2019. Some aspects may not be completed in time for that deadline and may have to be considered for next year. Submissions always have to be made by September.
Designating the island of Maio in this way could bring some advantages for the island, including recognition world wide, and it will bring to the island organisations and individuals interested in research. It will also provide support in the management of the natural resources on the island.
On Sunday, three young whales became stranded on the little beach next to Stella Maris in Vila do Maio. Various attempts were made to push them back into the sea but even with ropes and sheets, this proved impossible. Eventually a fishing boat arrived and using its motor they managed to get these three lovely creatures back into deeper water. This successful outcome was greeted with applause from the crowd that had gathered. Its puzzling why the whales came into such shallow waters. Congratulations to all concerned.
What exciting, ambitious plans! Cape Verde had previously set a target of achieving 50% of the countries power from renewable sources. They have now increased their target to 100% of their energy requirements being from renewables by 2020. What an amazing achievement that will be if they succeed. It will put many more developed countries to shame. Cape Verde has very little in the way of natural resources, and relatively little agricultural land. However, it does have plenty of is sun and wind. Seven years ago the government of Cape Verde set out the benefits of employing solar and wind power. Then they set targets of achieving 25% of the countries requirements by the end of 2011, and 50% by the end of 2020. The government reports that the country already generates 25% of the electricity usage through wind turbines. The government formed CERMI (Centre of Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance). It is hoped that this will serve more than just Cape Verde, but also other west African countries.
The small island of Maio is an almost forgotten treasure, with attractive little towns and villages, friendly local people and lovely deserted beaches. The turquoise waters and golden sands combine to create wonderful beaches for relaxing on, playing on, swimming from or simply walking along. A touch of paradise.