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Geoconservation Awarded to Machico Municipality

The Municipality of Machico has been awarded the Geoconservation 2023 Award, created in 2004 by the Portuguese Group of ProGEO (International Association for the Conservation of Geological Heritage). The official award ceremony will take place on the 6th of October, International Day of Geodiversity, in the Noble Hall of the Municipality of Machico, at 10 am.

Through the application ‘Ecos Machico: Valorisation of the Geoheritage of Machico,’ the Municipality of Machico was awarded first place at a national level, for all the work of conservation, valorisation, and promotion of the Geological Heritage existing in its territory. This work of territorial sustainability is developed by the Ecos Machico project, a partnership between the Municipality of Machico and the Insular Association of Geography (AIG), since 2021, seeking to make available the Geological Heritage of the municipality of Machico among many other aspects, using a considerable base of informational, interpretive and formative resources, within the reach of the entire population, but with a particular focus on the younger school-age audience.

Ricardo Franco, President of the municipality considers that the award that is now attributed to the Municipality of Machico results from the recognition, by ProGEO, that “the Ecos Machico project is, without a doubt, a correct and fundamental bet for the valorisation, environmental requalification and tourist revitalisation of the municipality of Machico. When, in 2017, the Municipality of Machico presented the objectives of the Ecos Machico project, it was very clear, before a room of interested people, that we were facing an important and unavoidable instrument for the management of our geological heritage. From then on, a whole work was developed that involved many people and was gradually improved with the contribution of fundamental partnerships, of which I highlight the Insular Association of Geography.” He also considers that the Ecos Machico project is a “consolidated” objective that will continue to develop with “ambitious ideas and promoters of ecotourism and the green economy in order to generate more and better employment that will translate into a better quality of life for residents and visitors.

In this context, the possibility of creating a geopark in our territory is already projected and that will achieve an important added value in raising awareness, education, and preservation of the natural heritage of the county.”

For his part, Marco Teles, President of the Board of AIG, says that “this is an award that represents a public recognition of the technical quality and commitment of the Association in the projects it embraces and is also a distinction that values Madeira, all the more so since RAM is in the process of certification as a sustainable tourist destination and geodiversity is an element that can and should be preserved.”

Samantha Gannon

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