Madeira Island is very conscious about environmental conservation. Particularly well known for its green spaces and for its wide variety of flowers, the island is the perfect place to enjoy moments of exquisite natural beauty.
For the first time in Portugal, the Gold Award in the 2000 Competition for the Greening and Flowering of Towns and Villages was presented to the city of Funchal.
To receive this award, the competing cities had to fulfil 80 percent of the conditions laid down by the European Association for Floriculturists and Landscape Architects. The island entered the central gardens into the competition as well as some gardens famous for their phenomenal beauty, such as Monte Garden, Monte Palace Gardens, Palheiro Ferreiro Estate, the Botanical Gardens and the Ecological Park of Funchal.
The main aspects that gave Funchal the title of 'Flowering City 2000' focused on the work done around environmental education and the wide variety of existing gardens. Apart from this Gold Award, Funchal also won the award for the cleanest city in Portugal in the category of the cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. The city won this award in 1994, 96/97 and 99/2000. In 2008, Funchal competed for the 9th National Solid Waste Management Competition - Clean Cities and was awarded the theme 'Innovative Projects in Waste Management'. That same year it received the green flag.
Aware of the importance that the environment and its preservation plays in the future of the island, the Regional Government organises a number of activities in order to motivate the local people to maintain their private gardens. One of these actions is the competition ‘Funchal – Flowering City’, carried out by Funchal’s Town Hall. This competition gets local people to participate, both in the private and commercial sector, to help make Funchal a more colourful city. Although it is responsible for the maintenance of public spaces, the Town Hall understands that private institutions should also be made responsible for the overall image of their properties.
Always aiming to improve public spaces, the government is now building some new gardens, including a garden in the Old Part of Town –which will certainly help to make this area a lot more attractive – as well as a Panoramic Garden that will link the ‘Estrada Monumental’ (main road to Câmara de Lobos) with the promenade in the Lido area.
The living proof of this city’s devotion to the environment are the street-sweepers who are dedicated not only to keeping the city clean but also to the production of their own working tools: handmade heather brooms!