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Ponta Delgada ,  August 30, 2019

Azores distinguished with bronze status by EarthCheck sustainable destination certification process

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism stated in Ponta Delgada that the Azores "were already distinguished with the bronze benchmark status certification by EarthCheck," a certification entity for sustainable tourist destinations.
“We are very proud of this certification as far as it evidences an external recognition of the commitment to which we have worked hard with all entities, companies and people. We have managed to position ourselves towards the certification of our destination," said Marta Guerreiro. The government official spoke at the opening of the "Green Team" workshop on São Miguel Island.
According to the her, "this bronze award is not a mere distinction. In fact, it is a small step of paramount importance that shows the progress of the path we have taken and the Region's current positioning compared to the other most sustainable destinations around the world.”
Marta Guerreiro pointed out that the Azores have become a reference destination that registers "the highest percentage of habitat conservation area, the highest percentage of green area and the lowest percentage of thefts and robberies. The Azores are also a region where the indicators of waste forwarded to landfill per person are lower than the average of this group of exclusive destinations and their indicators in terms of drinking, bathing and inland water quality are practically the highest among all destinations.”
"This certification and the available data demonstrate that it is possible to make the Azores a region where sustainable development can be an example worldwide, thus reinforcing the positioning of our destination in these emerging areas," stated the government official.
The Regional Secretary for Tourism ensured that the Regional Government is strongly committed “to the next phase - certification - which will be carried out through an audit based on the implementation of the destination's sustainability policy.” This year, the Region is expected to achieve the sustainable tourist destination certification.
According to the Regional Secretary, this is “a commitment we believe that belongs to everyone, where we can make the difference between who will stay in the past and who will play a leading role in building a better future for the Azores.”
On the occasion, the government official highlighted some phases of the certification process, including the creation of a destination coordinator, the development of a sustainability policy and the comparative assessment of environmental, cultural, social and economic sustainability performance. Furthermore, this process comprises several projects, namely the Azores Sustainability Charter, which has about 80 members and more than 300 public goals, and the "Green Teams" workshops as forums aimed at monitoring the sustainability of the Azores destination.
“In practical terms, our efforts have been undertaken based on the fact that “we can only manage well what can be measured.” Hence, we have compiled the indicators necessary to achieve a series of sustainability outcomes in areas such as energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water management, ecosystem conservation, transport, waste as well as cultural, social and economic management," stated the government official.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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