Cape Verde

Serra Negra beach clean in Cape Verde for World Oceans Day

Serra Negra beach clean, Sal, Cape Verde

To celebrate World Oceans Day and Make Holidays Greener Month, the Travel Foundation worked with the Sal-based NGO SOS Tartarugas to organise a beach clean in Serra Negra, Cape Verde.

25 participants collected approximately 700kg of rubbish over 3.5 hours, including fishing nets, plastic boxes, wood and glass – enough to fill three pick-up trucks.

Members of the Sal Destination Council kindly supported the beach clean:

  • APP (water and electricity company) donated 100 rubbish bags
  • Hotel Oasis Salinas Sea donated 25 litres of drinking water and rubbish bags
  • RIU Hotel donated 30 bottles of juice, rubbish bags and cups
  • Guiantur, the Association of Tourist Guides, gave use of their pick-up truck
  • City Hall of Sal donated rubbish bags

The event was also supported by the Protected Areas Project, which provided a pick-up truck and driver, and School Kim Barbosa, which provided catering equipment. A traditional Cape Verdean hearty stew called cachupa was made by a lady called Felipa for the beach clean team.

Serra Negra beach clean, Sal, Cape Verde - Cachupa time

The Travel Foundation’s National Programme Manager for Cape Verde, Débora Abu-Raya said, “Despite the amount of rubbish we collected from Serra Negra, we still have a long way to go before the beach is clear of plastic. As our Better Beaches project progresses, we’re hoping to encourage more local residents and visitors to come to beach cleans and take better care of the beach environment. I’m sure we will get there!”

By Isabel Kearney, Destinations Programme Officer

Cape Verde Destination Council welcomes new sustainable tourism projects

Destination Council in Sal, Cape Verde

Destination Council in Sal, Cape Verde

Destinations Programme Officer Isabel Kearney gives an update from Cape Verde…

Last week, 18 members of the Destination Council for Sal, Cape Verde, met at Hotel Oasis Salinas Sea. The Destination Council was set up by the Travel Foundation to bring together key tourism stakeholders including the Ministry of Tourism, local government, NGOs, hotels, tour operators and ground agents.

Collectively the council is working towards a vision of Sal as “a welcoming, clean and beautiful island, full of Cape Verdean culture, tradition, craft and music. A destination recognised internationally for sustainability, protecting the environment and involving local communities”.

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During the meeting National Programme Manager Débora Abu-Raya gave members an update on the Travel Foundation’s three new projects in SalBetter Beaches, Discover the Real Sal, and Cape Verdean Craft – and the council discussed how they could get involved in activities and involve other stakeholders.

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Questions were raised about how to deal with stray dogs on the beaches and the quantity of litter being washed up – members who had organised beach cleans shared shocking stories of the amount of litter collected in just one hour. Through the Better Beaches project, and with the cooperation of residents and visitors to Sal, the Travel Foundation hopes to improve the beach environment so that it can be enjoyed by more people.

Débora said, “I’m really pleased that the second Destination Council meeting went so well. Members are engaged in the projects and showed real passion for turning Sal into a sustainable tourism destination.”

Over the coming months, the Destination Council will be working on a joint action plan in order to achieve this vision for Sal, as well as contributing resources towards a beach clean for World Oceans Day on 8 June.

Beach clean in Cape Verde

Sal beach clean

To celebrate World Turtle Day, Isabel Kearney, Travel Foundation’s Destinations Programme Officer for Cape Verde took part in a beach clean on 25th May in Sal. The beach clean, which was organised by SOS Turtles, saw local residents and the SOS Turtles team come together on Kite Beach to collect litter. Isabel said:

“Despite being the most popular of Sal’s beaches for kite surfers, I was surprised by how much rubbish we collected – we filled twelve large bags in an hour with plastic jerry cans, bits of fishing nets and broken glass bottles.”

Isabel is in Sal for two weeks working with National Programme Manager Débora Abu-Raya visiting the Travel Foundation’s projects and attending the Destination Council.

For more information on the Travel Foundation’s work in Cape Verde, please visit our project pages and if you are in the travel industry, sign up for a beach clean as part of this July’s Make Holidays Cleaner campaign.

 

New sustainable tourism activities in Cape Verde

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The Travel Foundation’s recent trip to Sal, Cape Verde was dual purpose: we announced a new programme of sustainable tourism activities for the island and photographer Chris Willan was there to capture the scenery and culture of this fascinating destination.

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In addition to announcing the new programme of activities, one of the main objectives of the visit was to work with the destination council to define a vision, strategy and activities to support Sal in becoming a leading sustainable tourism destination.

The destination council is composed of 21 members, including tour operators, hoteliers, NGOs and representatives of local and central government and associations as diverse as the IFP (a hospitality training centre), the ADEI (a business development organisation) and the Department of Tourism. The idea is to bring all these organisations together to work towards a common goal which will help protect Sal’s environment, provide economic benefits to the resident population and offer holidaymakers enhanced holiday experiences.

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Although visited by some 500,000 people each year, Cape Verde is a little known country… when you say you are travelling to Cape Verde most people’s first question is “where?”.

Cape Verde is an archipelago of 10 islands (and two rocks) which lie 500km west of Senegal in the Atlantic Ocean. 501,000 people inhabit nine of Cape Verde’s islands. Santiago is the largest and most populated island and is also home to the capital city, Praia. Sal is one of the smaller islands, just 18km long by 7km wide with a population of 20,702.

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Located in the Barlavento (meaning windward) group of islands, Sal is the oldest of the Cape Verdean islands. It was originally named Llana (flat island), before being renamed Sal (salt) after the salt pans, now one of Sal’s most visited attractions, were discovered. Despite its size, Sal boasts 11 protected areas and is believed to be the world’s third most important nesting site for loggerhead turtles.

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Landing on what appears a largely barren and desolate island, it may seem surprising that there is so much to see and do in Sal. However, during a short trip in February this year, Chris Willan captured the laid-back surf spots at Kite Beach, Angulo Beach and Ponta Preta; the Santa Maria pier bustling with fishermen and vendors; and the nightlife of the capital city, Espargos.

We think Sal has much to offer, and we are looking forward to working with the destination council on a number of activities to enhance experiences for both local residents and visitors.

By Suzannah Newham, Destination Programmes Officer