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Another Island on Fire to be ‘Smart Island’

Fires in Tenerife, the largest and most populous of Spain’s Canary Islands, have caused over 12,000 people to evacuate.

According to reports, it appears arson is to blame for the Tenerife fires.

“Canary Islands regional president Fernando Clavijo said police suspected arson and had opened three lines of investigation,” Evening Standard reports.

Per Evening Standard:

More than 12,000 people have had to evacuate their homes since the blaze broke out on Wednesday.

Hundreds of soldiers and firefighters have been deployed to get the flames under control, and improved weather conditions helped them make more progress yesterday.

Governor Rosa Davila said after a “very difficult night”, emergency services had enjoyed some “positive results”.

Many locals are sheltering in sports halls, clubs, and pavilions and no injuries have been reported.

People are being urged to stay inside due to the poor air quality.

According to Sur in English, a manhunt is underway to find the perpetrator(s).

From Sur in English:

The devastating forest fires that have raged across Tenerife the past week were deliberately lit, authorities have confirmed.

A manhunt is now underway to catch the perpetrator responsible for igniting the fires that have scorched an area of almost 120,000,000 square metres and forced evacuations in 11of the 31 municipalities of the Canary Island.

The perimeter affected by the fire so far covers 84 kilometres across 11 municipalities: Arafo, Candelaria, Güímar, El Rosario, La Victoria, Santa Úrsula, La Orotava, La Matanza, El Sauzal, Los Realejos and Tacoronte. “From the beginning it was suspected to be an arson attack and the Guardia Civil’s investigations have confirmed it,” said the president of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo.

Officers have already taken statements from residents in the Arafo area, where the fire started, and where there have been other outbreaks this summer, the most significant on 15 July.

With some digging, the agenda for this arson is starting to reveal itself.

Tenerife has plans to become a ‘Smart Island.’

From INtech Tenerife:

Tenerife is focusing on becoming a smart tourist destination through the Tenerife Smart Island initiative, with support from the Institute of Technology and Renewable Energies (ITER), INtech Tenerife, the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics (IAC), the University of La Laguna, and the Canary Islands Official Association of Technical Telecommunications Engineers (COITTCAN), among other entities that recently participated in the third edition of Tenerife Smart Island.​

The data could not be any more promising: Tenerife is still growing as a hub for tourism in Spain, and tourism is a crucial sector for the island’s economy. In 2018 alone, the tourism sector generated a total of 4,474 million euros in revenue, 169 million more than in the previous year.

The island is emerging as a tourist destination that offers visitors a wide range of options. Although the climate remains its greatest attraction, this is now complemented by food tourism and nature and sports activities.

“The goal is to transform the island of Tenerife into a smart tourist destination with integrated smart systems for safety and mobility,” the outlet wrote.

“Although creating a smart tourist destination is the top priority for Tenerife Smart Island, it doesn’t just stop there: the program also aims to provide citizens with the tools they need to become part of this connected ecosystem. For instance, bringing public services closer to the citizens on the island by offering mobile solutions for all eGovernment transactions,” the outlet added.

“Turning Tenerife into a Smart Island based on an ICT infrastructure, ensures the quality of life of its citizens and makes the area accommodating, habitable, accessible, and sustainable,” INtech Tenerife wrote in another post.

From INtech Tenerife:

The United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development establishes 17 Sustainable Development Goals aimed at putting an end to extreme poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and confronting climate change.

On this last point, it’s obvious that we should talk about the global impact of the tourism sector. To talk about tourism is to talk about one of the driving forces of worldwide economic growth.

Tourism currently provides one out of every eleven jobs in the world. In the Canary Islands, it represents over 34% of the Gross Domestic Product. And in Tenerife, the hospitality and service sectors contribute more than 60% of the GDP to the island’s economy.

It is essential to point out that Tenerife is the largest, most mountainous, and most biologically diverse island in the Canary Islands. Forty-eight percent (48%) of its surface is occupied by 43 natural protected areas. And, with over 800 species of fauna and flora that are unique in all the world, Tenerife is an extraordinary place.



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