A recent report 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. Also because it is 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. 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. It will also 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.
The ‘Ethical Traveler’, a project of the Earth Island Institute, prepares a list of 10 of the countries within the Developing World that are the most ethical travel destinations. Cape Verde is clear leader in this quest. The island state is currently aiming to acquire half of its energy requirements from renewable sources; it has established programmes to protect turtles, which are hunted and also vulnerable to pollution. Cape Verde is also known for gender equality with women holding positions of authority in both the public and the private sector. LGBT rights are also embraced and it is one of the very few African countries to hold a Gay Pride week. All of this is something that this small country should be proud of.