Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Planet or Plastic’ is the name of the upcoming National Geographic Summit, which takes place next week in northern Portugal after being staged for two years in Lisbon.

To be held at Porto’s Casa da Música next Monday afternoon (29 April), the event will bring five key international speakers to Porto to address the topic of disposable plastic items and the effects they are having on our planet.

Under the motto ‘Listening to the Planet from Oporto’, photographer Brian Skerry, ecologist Lucy Hawkes, biologist Paula Sobral, former executive president of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Jamie Butterworth and the founder of the Zero Waste movement Lauren Singer, will be addressing the scale of the plastic waste problem and providing alternatives.

Luís Fernambuco, director general of National Geographic Partners Portugal, said in comments to newspaper Público: “This year we thought of a great concept that we have as an institution and we wanted to take advantage of the occasion of the summit to make this issue known”.

The move from Lisbon to Porto, he says, happened for two reasons: firstly, for the “emotional connection” with Porto, as National Geographic’s Photo Ark exhibition debut was staged there, and due to “good relations” with several institutions in Porto; and secondly to “decentralise” the summit.

According to the programme, two major themes will be discussed: “On the one hand, we want to show the dimension of the problem”, emphasises Luís Fernambuco, elaborating: “On the other hand, we want to give alternatives and [show] how we can all play a concrete role in reducing disposable plastic”.