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(02 December 2019) - A seminar on the theme ‘What future for changing Alentejo?’ was organised by CARMEN and AEIDL in Portugal. The debates highlighted the need to build a shared vision of what a sustainable future should look like for this region.

Alentejo
© CARMEN

A vast, mainly rural region with a low population density and a strong cultural identity, Alentejo is today subject to three factors that are radically changing its characteristics: the arrival of large intensive agricultural companies, the development of tourism, particularly on the coast, and the demographic evolution of the region, marked by the mass departure of young people, the use of foreign labour for intensive agricultural holdings, and the installation of neo-rurals.

Given these factors, what does Alentejo’s future look like? What new configuration is emerging in the context of the globalisation of the economy? What are the environmental, social, economic and cultural challenges for the future?

The seminar highlighted the need for a comprehensive conversion plan for the Alentejo region, which should integrate the development of sustainable agriculture with low water consumption, local development and industrial conversion, to be developed in consultation with the different types of stakeholders at different levels.

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