UPDATE, March 31, 2016: Our partners at PALP, Plataforma Algarve Livre de Petroleo, have asked for our support as petition signers. PALP intends to submit this petition to the EU Parliament and the Portuguese Parliament towards the end of the year. They are aiming for 100,000 signatures, currently online they have nearly 17,000 and on paper over 50,000. This petition submission will be supported by legal arguments.
Please read and sign this petition and share this widely through your social networks.
Leading the opposition on the ground is a group called PALP, Plataforma Algarve Livre de Petroleo, translated to English as Algarve Free from Oil. PALP represents a coalition of 14 organizations, including Save The Waves Coalition, dedicated to fighting this threat, alerting the public to the dangers of oil and gas exploration on their coast, and encouraging a debate on the consequences of this decision for the region. Save The Waves is working with our contacts in Algarve, as well as our network within the Ericeira World Surfing Reserve, to support all PALP efforts locally and internationally.
At this time, PALP is requesting we urge our supporters to do the following:
1. Share this news with your networks, raise awareness of the issue on an international scale.
2.Take a photo of yourself and your message against oil exploration
3. Post your photo to social media with the hashtags #rasgaocontrato (tear up the contracts) and #algarvelivredepetroleo (algarve free of oil)
Of significance in this case are the incredible natural resources of the Algarve coastline. There is no shortage of endemic, endangered, and threatened species within the areas of concern. The Ria Formosa contains the largest population of Seahorses, in the world. Both the ‘long snouted’ and ‘short snouted’ seahorse inhabit the waters of this peninsula and are listed as threatened species by the IUCN.
Algarve is a coastline known for its wildlife and is home to a staggering number of incredible natural and undisturbed habitats. If you like birds, this place should be on your life list. If you find Geology fascinating, and as a surfer you should, then you should know that Algarve has no less than 15 areas of special geologic significance. If plants and flora are your thing, a quick search on Algarve reveals at least a half dozen endemic and protected species of plants (An endemic species is one that is found in only one place. When that species is wiped out, it is gone forever). In short, Algarve is not only stunningly beautiful and home to scores of waves, it is an important biodiversity hotspot.
Despite these facts, the situation continues. PALP is working hard to create an informed and educated public capable of advocating for their best interest. Save The Waves is working to support their efforts and asking their supporters to make this an international issue.