A Shared Future
Education and Research
Discussions have taken place to send students from the University of Hawaiʻi system on an annual basis to participate in the University of Madeira’s Intensive Summer Course. Eventually, these campuses would welcome students from the University of Madeira to study. As UH Mānoa already teaches Portuguese, we believe it will not be difficult to find a student from the Portuguese program to participate.
Additionally, a proposal is currently being made to gauge the interest of students of Portuguese descent at schools on Oʻahu to travel to Madeira for intensive language and culture courses. The Portuguese Government, through the Camões Institute, has programs to provide support for Portuguese-language learning in high schools, making Hawaii-based programs eligible to participate.
While student exchanges and re-establishing the Portuguese language are of great importance to Hawaii’s Portuguese, scientific research and collaborations between Madeira and Hawaiʻi can provide valuable opportunities for both locations
The presence of related peoples and plants has established gene pools in two areas with commonalities that can learn from one another. Endangered species in island environments can also be studied, as can agricultural practices, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, geology, and other island-related sciences. The possibilities are many and faculty and researcher relationships and exchanges can be forged to the mutual benefit of all.
Additionally, after the relationship is set up and developed, we would propose building relationships in the tourism and environmental sustainability fields:
As a large European tourist destination, Madeira welcomes approximately 1.2 million tourists a year. There are opportunities for Hawaii to learn from Madeira, and vice versa, particularly in the area of eco-tourism and attracting European visitors. Madeira has hosted a number of summits for European tourism organizations, and with Hawaii’s attempts to woo European visitors. Hawaii’s participation in these summits could pay dividends. An exchange of marketing methods used in Hawaii and Madeira could also benefit both tourist destinations.
As remote oceanic islands, sustainability is important to Madeira. There are opportunities for Hawaii to learn from Madeira, which currently generates 50% of its electricity from renewable sources. The smaller island of Porto Santo, which is part of the Madeira Autonomous Region, is undertaking an ambitious plan called “Sustainable Porto Santo – Smart Fossil Free Island.” Porto Santo has partnered with French automaker Renault to use the island as a test bed for the integration of sustainable and connected technologies. As Hawaii has an ambitious 100% renewable energy goal by 2040, this is a logical point of collaboration.