Growing environmental awareness
The Office of the Natural Park of Madeira (SPNM) has reported an increasing number of participants and growing awareness of environmental matters over the academic year 2013/2014. There were a total of 13,488 participants in various initiatives – a number that, according to SPNM, reveals “a high interest from the Madeiran population”.
Throughout the year SPNM developed not only activities directed to the academic community (from preschool to university) but also the population at large. Activities included study visits, traveling exhibitions, lectures – 124 of these, with 5,200 attendees. The most visited areas were the Reserva Natural Parcial do Garajau, the Ilhéu de Cima (Porto Santo), the Floresta Laurissilva, and Ponta de São Lourenço.
Porto Bay cancer donation
The Regional Centre of the Madeiran Portuguese League Against Cancer received a donation of €16,241 yesterday from the president of the Porto Bay Group in Madeira, António Trindade, and his team. The donation will be essential in resolving more than a dozen new requests for support of cancer patients, many of them with young children still of school age and facing financial difficulties as well as the disease. Great work Porto Bay!
How’s life in Madeira?
The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) has released a study entitled “How’s Life”, covered in the Diario today. This report attempts to measure the quality of life in different regions of the globe. As far a Madeira is concerned, the most alarming statistic remains unemployment, whilst the most positive aspect is the environment. Major findings include:
Madeira has the best environment in Portugal apart from the Azores. Evaluating CO2 emissions, the archipelagos have better air quality than the other 32 countries.
Madeira is the third region of the country when it comes to average incomes. However, Portugal is more than five thousand dollars below the country average ($18,907), but in the north, where income in Portugal is lower, this difference reaches over seven thousand dollars. In Madeira, the average income is $13,714, below Lisbon at $16 000.
Access to Services
Madeira is the third region of the country with better access to services in a list led by Lisbon. Almost 60% had broadband access in 2013.
Madeira occupies the last place in this national indicator. Madeira’s housing stock has an average 1.7 rooms per person (within the OECD average), while in the centre of Portugal this is 2.2.
The highest rate of unemployment in Portugal in 2013 occurs in Madeira with 16.8%, twice the average of OECD countries whose rate is 8%.
Portugal is 32nd on the list of 34 countries when it comes to education. And this is the item that receives the most worrying Madeira evaluation. 0,9 out of ten possible points. Only the Azores had a worse education rating in Portugal. The labour force with at least secondary education in Madeira is just 36%.
Alarmingly the OECD study concludes that living standards continue to diverge within many economically advanced countries as poorer regions struggle to catch up with richer ones. Half of the 34 OECD countries have seen the income gap between their best-off and worst-off regions widen since the 2008 crisis.