ASMAA was then formally registered on 3 December 2012 by a group of Expats and Luso-descendents as a private not-for-profit association complying with its statuary aims and objectives. ASMAA has a very strong focus on "environmental protection", with a special emphasis on protecting the oceans surrounding the Portuguese coastal regions.
Although we endeavour to keep this website with up-to-date info, the fact is that its not always possible. As a result we invite you to join our Facebook Group page which is where you will find all the lastest info about what we are up to, and about info relating to areas of interest, about events, and info about the various causes that ASMAA cares about. Click here to join our Facebook Group.
Many times in the past few years we were tempted to throw in the towel, but somehow we carried on. But 2017 was a very important year in ASMAA’s history. It was a landmark of events some expected, some planned and some unforeseen. But all in all we can honestly say that 2017 was the beginning of a transition that was already in the planning table and which was very welcome and for which we are deeply grateful.
We started 2017 heavily involved in the anti-oil “Nem Um Furo” campaign, February saw us at the Portuguese Parliament, but it still took until December 21st – 4 days before Christmas for the government to simply wipe 42,000 objections under the rug in a couple of minutes.
Then from the middle of the year until October we were confronted with major fires in the center of Portugal. First in Pedrogrão where we have many friends and later in Oliveira do Hospital, Arganyl, etc.
We could not just sit back as if nothing had happened to people that lost their homes, their livelihoods and some even their lives. We jumped into action and managed to set-up a weekly convoy of donated goods (clothing, furniture, etc), food, toiletries and even animal feeds. But the response was so overwhelming that we found our offices overflowing without a spare cm to spare. That led to us renting a warehouse as it was stopping us operating at our head office in Lagos, that quickly grew to two before the year-end. But we soon realized that it was still a logistical nightmare to manage and that we needed additional facilities. At the end of November we identified another suitable premises in Portimão with 500 m2, and we initiated negations with the owners.
During 2017, in addition to above situations there were many other administrative and managerial changes as well. A new board was elected in the last week in September bringing invaluable new skills, competencies and wisdom into our association. And we started the process of planning many other changes to be implemented during the course of 2018.
Our volunteers network grew by 40%, while the external support for the association grew by more than 100%. ASMAA now enjoys a following of more than 60,000 people spread throughout the world and with whom we maintain regular contact.
The bottom line is that 2017 was an extreme year of change; it was also the end of a start-up cycle with many hick-ups along the way, but we are grateful that towards the last quarter, we saw the beginning of an uplifting cycle, which we are hopeful, will carry on until 2022.
ASMAA management team thanks all our members, volunteers, donors and supporters that have carried us in the past five years and more especially during the year of 2017
During 2016 the major focus of the association was its campaign against offshore and onshore oil and gas drilling, including alerting local population against the risks of fracking especially due to the new contracts signed just before the results of the 2015 local elections. ASMAA continued with the anti oil drilling campaign "Nem UM Furo" (Not ONE Well) ... It was also the year during which in reply to a publico consultation about a TUPEM licence applied for by the ENI/Galp consortium, a petition subscribed by over 27,000 people was submitted to the Portuguese government and the DGRM in Lisbon, as well as 42,000 objections to the TUPEM were lodged with the DGRM in Lisbon against 4 in favor submissions.
During 2016 basic assistance was also given to various informal volunteer groups run mainly by Expats supporting a soup kitchen in Lagos as well as the Network for Families in Need across the western and central Algarve.
The economic challenges brought by the Troika have been severally felt in the association as well as across the territory. The political climate has not helped, nor do we expect it to be any better in 2017.
Many information events about the various risks were run during the course of the year. Much of the activities are reported in this website.
This was a crossroads year. Serious lack of operational funds led to the management team in the beginning of the year, giving serious consideration to the closure of the association and to cease operations. Subsequent meetings in which the continuous and fast approaching threat of offshore oil and gas exploration was intensely debated, a decision was made to continue with operations, and for the founders to finance the continuation thereof so that it could meet its financial obligations. It was agreed by the board to reassess the position of the association again later in the year.
The publication of the offshore oil and gas concession contracts in July, and then the subsequent publication of the newly signed onshore contracts in September by ENMC led the board to realise that there was sufficient merit, and a strong ethical based reason to continue. In turn this resulted in a decision by management to restructure ASMAA in the last quarter of the year, which is to be implemented in first quarter of 2016.
During 2015, ASMAA facilitated many disclosure workshops across the Algarve and participated in various public debates about the issue. In total ASMAA was present in more than 20 events during the course of the year. The reach of the anti-oil exploration campaign extended across Portugal main land, with a special focus on the regions of Porto and Lisbon.
In December 2015, ASMAA launched the "Nem UM Furo ... Nem Agora Nem no Futuro ... Nem na Terra Nem no Mar" anti offshore and onshore oil and gas exploration campaign which integrates all the previous campaigns and adds on to it an anti-Fracking perspecive as well.
The primary focus during 2014 was the "Oilgarve" and the "Say NO to Oil in Algarve" campaigns once the legislative framework for surf schools licensing was finalised.
Extensive research was done during the year, and many awareness raising community workshops about the threat of offshore oil and gas exploration were run across the Algarve. Parallel to it, the focus continued to be on building international partnerships.
The first official operational year strategy was on developing brand visibility, reputation and mass membership as a foundation for the organisation. This resulted in that the focus was less on generating "funds" and more on positioning.
Funding campaigns were targeted specifically at specific initiatives such as the "Bar Matter in Lagos", the "Oilgarve - Say No to Oil and Gas in the Algarve Campaign" and on addressing the legislative framework of surf school beach licensing process, including the licensing selection protocols and framework.
During 2013, ASMAA gained major visibility in the local communities of the Algarve and extensive visibility on the Internet.
The first year, from April until the official registration of the association in December was spent on strategy and planning. Strong focus was given to the upcoming threat of offshore oil and gas exploration in the Algarve, and extensive research was conducted on this issue.
The year was also focused on the challenges facing many surf schools in the Algarve because of outdated licensing regulations and the increase harassement of many surf schools on local beaches.