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Nº 2 – Motocross Tourism, an industry for peace?

Who does the planet belong to? Does it belong to the hundreds of tourists who last week terrorised the region where I live with their all-terrain motorbikes? I am deeply upset when I picture the natural treasures of this planet and its diversity and then see what came about at the end of the day. Are we, the humans, the owners of this planet and can we do whatever we want with it, or are we just a part of this planet and have the responsibility of taking good care of it? During all these years that I have traveled in this part of the world, in Portugal, the Algarve and Monchique, I have experienced a lot of its beauty…

… But I have also seen people destroying it. Damn them! I had to watch, as hundreds of motocross riders drove through the countryside, over the hills and across the valleys. And then, yesterday, I discovered this video that shows hoards of German motocross riders crossing the burnt private land of my Portuguese neighbours. Behaviour reminiscent of the Germans who invaded Poland in 1939. These people show that they have learned nothing during all these years. Damn them! The south of Portugal is now being invaded by Germans and their allies on two-wheeled “panzers”. Monchique, this pearl of the Algarve, who is it who sold you and who has bought you?

The mayor, twice re-elected, should have known only too well what could happen to him when he authorised a week long event like this one, called MotoMania 2019. God help him. What’s more, he has wasted thousands of euros of our taxes to support this organisation (ISDE 2019) in its destruction of nature. In this region, already unrecognisable because of the fires, Rui André, in cooperation with his ICNF “friends”, has authorised these tourists to drive their machines left right and centre over private land and streams protected by the Natura 2000 network. They even drove over newly planted trees!

Miguel Sousa Tavares, in the 2,393rd edition of Expresso, characterised the mayor of Monchique as someone with a “cynical optimism that would turn out to be morbid and that in a country where political responsibility was not a futile word, should have resigned the day after the fire was extinguished .” How many crazy things, posing as normal tourist activities, will still have to take place in Monchique and the Algarve? Haven’t all the limits already been exceeded? So I ask who does the planet belong to, apart from Rui Andre? Because there are alternatives, as Loulé Mayor Vítor Aleixo has shown us. He refused to pay the money (35,000 euros) to support this biker mafia. Bravo!

I would like to give advice to potential foreign investors and decision makers in the EU commission. Think carefully before continuing to invest in and subsidise projects in Monchique. Foreigners, who want to buy land here and live in Monchique, or even invest in companies and get EU support, should first ask for written assurances from local policy makers for life insurance, respect for nature and for the sustainability of their investments to be taken seriously. Because Monchique is sitting on a powder keg. This barrel is 84% filled with eucalyptus, which removes all the water from the ground and increases the danger of fire every year, all compounded by a policy which insists on repeating the same catastrophic errors.

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