Reply To: research project in Tourism and sustainability

Emma Duc GoninazEmma Duc Goninaz

Dear Ana,

Waking Life is a multidimensional project with budding cultural and ecological initiatives based in the municipality of Crato.
In 2017 we started an annual festival which is now gathering up to 10.000 participants from over a hundred nationalities in the interior of Alentejo (one of the most deserted and dry region of Portugal).

The event takes place over a week around a 10 hectares lake. Its program offers an enticing mix of musical performances, fine art, film screenings, debates, workshops, and different practices related to the well-being of the mind and body.

In 2020, together with the municipality of Crato, we started implementing a 10 years program on land regeneration on the site of the event.

The aim is to transform the 40 hectare lands around the Lake of the “Barragem das Nascentes” into a public natural park with a lush biodiversity and offer innovative environmental solutions for regions such as Alentejo which are intensely suffering from rural exodus, water crisis and soil desertification.

Circularity is at the core of our business model, we have been implementing a local organic food system and frame our work around the prevention, reduction, up-cycling and recycling of materials, water and energy. For instance, we are now designing the whole natural treatment of all the grey water collected from the festival. This work allowed us to win a national grant from Turismo de Portugal for sustainable event, contributing to the redynamization of abandoned area.

We are now looking for partners to collaborate on research and experiences on a wide range of topic.The symbiosis between land regeneration project and an international cultural festival gives us a very interesting platform to experiment and develop solutions (through pilot projects for instance) which are replicable in other contexts. Moreover, the success of our annual festival gives us a considerable visibility on international scene and a great network of capable professional and experts.

You can find more info about the festival here: Please note, the pages regarding the land regeneration program are currently being built.

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