About the Author

Diêgo Lôbo Goiabeira
Environmental Blogger/Writer and PR (Salvador, Brazil)

Diêgo Lôbo, 21, environmental writer and blogger; frustrated oil and gas technical; and Public Relations. Currently, I am working in a non-profit organization with communication, social medias and fundraising. Since I was chosen in a bloggers competition to cover an environmental conference in Germany, I became passionate in blogging in English.I love travelling, learning about new cultures and discussing. Creator and Chief-editor of E esse tal Meio Ambiente? (www.essetalmeioambiente.com) Follow me on twitter: @diegolobo For further infomation: diegolobog@gmail.com

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We All Loved Lisbon

Published 06th May 2011 - 8 comments - 10458 views -
 

I was inspired by Elena’s post on how she was fascinated by Lisbon, its clean streets and kind people. In fact, it is easier for me to do the same comparison. As you might know, my country was colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The city where I live, Salvador, was the first one to be populated by these Europeans. So in Lisbon, I could feel sometimes as I was at home, and not only because of the language, but also the architecture of the churches and fountains, religion, and of course the similarity with the Brazilian people: sympathy, charisma and this way of receiving tourists.

I must talk about the fascinating projects we visited. First, the theoretical background and context of climate change and water issues in Portugal given by the researcher Tiago Capela, in the University of Lisbon. I really liked his presentation “Signs of Changes” where he exposed some information which clearly showed us how the climatic scenario has been changing through the history: sometimes getting dryer, sometimes getting colder. In other words: droughts and floods. I would not forget to mention some aspects of Tiago’s speech which could deserve their own post, as the influence of climate change on water quality, the coastal erosion – which greatly impacts on tourism once it affects the beaches, landscape, etc. -, and also the Portuguese National Plan for the Efficient Use of Water.

Rui Cavaleiro came with an essential discussion: the diversity of sources of energy. He brought two important situations with much influence on this agenda: the availability of oil for the next decades and the recent events in Japan. It is not a new debate, in fact, and I do not think we are reaching a consensus here. At the same time I agree with him when he said that technology is the key: “only working with technologic efficiency we will tackle this problem”. I have to disagree, however, of his opinion regarding dam’s constructions. Perhaps, it is because I live in a country with huge natural wealth, with most of the species and water resources on Earth. I would say it is nothing sustainable to say that the positive effects of such constructions (energy supply and thousands of jobs for a few years) will overcome or even justify the negative effects (extinctions of endemic species, the expulsion of 20 thousand of indigenous people, small farmers and fishermen of their lands, the emissions of tons of greenhouse gas due to the flooded forest, and so on).

There is still a lot to say about this trip. I loved the Dolphin Watching and also the visit to the Biomares Project, the project about conservancy of the marine biodiversity at Professor Luiz Saldanha Marine Park, in Setubal. They are remarkable at their work as you can see in the pictures above.

Thank you again to everyone, all friends and the EJC who had participated in this trip. At first, I was not too confident about how trip would progress for me, but I am glad I was wrong and everything was so great that I can't even describe, just awesome. I am confident promoting exchange will definitely make difference.

 

featured: foto by David Aparicio


Category: Environment | Tags:


Comments

  • Natasha Culzac on 06th May 2011:

    Diego, great post :) Good to meet ya, keep up the great writing!
    Natasha


  • Avgi Lilli on 06th May 2011:

    Great post!
    Wonderful places we’ ve seen and people we have met.
    Nice slide show too!


  • Mamen Salas Burguete on 08th May 2011:

    I like the slides! And your comments about dam construction made me think, are there alternatives then? which ones?


  • Diêgo Lôbo Goiabeira on 08th May 2011:

    Guys, thanks for your comments.

    Mamen, I’d say there are lots of alternatives, depends on the country aspects. The hydroelectric power represents over 70% of our energy supply, it means we are very dependet of them. This is not good: which is good is having diversified energy resources. And, yes, there are alternatives, but not to replace these ones, but to complement its work. Maybe even more than Germany, we have potential to implement solar and wind energy. But if there is not incentive…what would you say?


  • Mamen Salas Burguete on 09th May 2011:

    Hi Diego!
    Yes, I know there are energetic alternatives, but dams have also other uses. To be frank, I do not know much (shame on me!) about the situation in Germany, but where I come from, we have a big dam which was built to control sudden changes of level in the city river. Now that we have a dry climate over there, it is used to provide the city with clean quality water. That is what I had in mind when I asked what other alternatives there are to replace a dam.
    I understand your point of view, but I consider also wind and solar energy installations have an impact on ecological systems and landscape. It is good, as you say, to have diversified energy resources, but for that it is necessary to have a certain geographic situation and/or natural conditions that not all countries have (and money is another problem here). I agree countries cannot be dependent on just one kind of energy resource and should promote or incentive installations which provide clean energy, but to replace the current energy sources governments need a lot of money and they are mostly not precisely interested in investing for pure economic reasons (and lobby pressure, etc.). In Germany there are, since Japan disaster, some citizen movements which promote changing people’s energy companies: from current nuclear energy suppliers to ecologic ones (Öko-Strom), so consumers can have a certain pressure to modify the weight that ecologic energy resources have.


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