Inspired by our Destination Council of Sal, the Town hall has recently created a new Environmental Committee on the island. While not explicitly related to tourism, the industry makes up 80-90% of Sal’s economy so there is major tourism sector involvement.
What is the environmental committee on Sal?
A think-tank created by the Sal Town hall with 20 stakeholders, representing diverse sectors such as tourism, public health, education, sanitation, and maritime authorities. It complements the Destination Council and will promote discussion and action to overcome issues related to sanitation, the environment and human systems.
How does it tie into Travel Foundation projects?
The Travel Foundation was appointed in two of the working groups: waste and turtles – areas where we are already engaged. This will enable us to better understand stakeholders’ opinions and current plans, and gain engagement for interventions.
Our project to reduce hotel waste and energy use is already underway. Cape Verde is an important nesting site for Loggerhead turtles – an endangered species according to the IUCN Red List. Many threats are compromising the survival of the population, including hunting of nesting females, by-catch, and marine pollution. The main threats for nests are loss of habitat, lighting, and predation.
What is the future of this committee?
Each group will deliver an action plan, or develop a joint project with activities that aim to solve the problems. The kick-starter group meetings have already taken place and the next step will be to seek feedback from the Town hall and develop project terms of reference.