Company fined for the second time for non-compliance at Ria Formosa
The president of Quercus in the Algarve has criticised the “lack of awareness” in the environmental defense of an area in Garrão, Loulé, where a developer was the target of a second administrative offense for acting improperly on a piece of land within the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
img decoding=”async” src=”http://algarvedailynews.com/images/news2/18960.jpg” alt=”COMPANY FINED FOR THE SECOND TIME FOR NON-COMPLIANCE AT RIA FORMOSA” width=”160″ style=”margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: left;” />The president of Quercus in the Algarve has criticised the “lack of awareness” in the environmental defense of an area in Garrão, Loulé, where a developer was the target of a second administrative offense for acting improperly on a piece of land within the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
span>Speaking to news agency Lusa, Cláudia Sil of Quercus said that the company Lisfina sealed a piece of land that it owns in the protected area of ??the Algarve coast with barbed wire, threatening the environment, which gave rise to a misdemeanor by the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF ), which had already initiated a similar procedure for “abusive” deforestation.
span>“The land was relatively naturalised and conserved and it was the local population were outraged and filed the first complaint, when they saw and noticed the felling of pine trees, some centenarians, large pines,” said the environmentalist, recalling the origin of the first administrative offense.
span>The land is located in an area of ??the Algarve coast located between the luxury developments of Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, areas of the municipality of Loulé where housing prices are among the most expensive in the country.
span>The director of Quercus in the Algarve said that, “officially, no project for the area is known”, but argued that, “informally, the objective of that company, which is in the real estate industry, is to build in the area”, something that “can only be done in a small area, because the area is inserted in the Natural Park [of Ria Formosa]”.
span>Asked by Lusa about the alleged intention of building real estate in that place, the Mayor of Loulé stressed that no project in this sense was submitted to the municipality, criticising the deforestation carried out on the land.
span>“[Deforestation] It was something that made me very sad. We imposed measures, within our sphere of competence, but there is nothing, strictly nothing, licensed ”, stressed Vítor Aleixo.
span>After people’s complaints were the basis of the first complaint and administrative offense, “it was thought that this would demote the company”, but the actions in the area “continued” and led to the installation of the fence, giving rise to a new participation by Quercus, last November, which culminated in the establishment, by ICNF, of a new administrative offense, according to a letter from the institute.
span>“The local resident population, after the felling of the pines stopped, felt reassured and thought that the company had dismissed its original intentions, but what has happened is that during all these months – in July, August, September, October – there were groundworks taking place instead”, Vítor Aleixo lamented.
span>Cláudia Sil noted that “interventions in a natural park are subject to prior authorisation by the ICNF”, stressing that, in the letter, dated March 2021, the institute reported “that, in fact, the promoter made an authorisation request and the ICNF did not authorise it ”.
span>“But the prosecutor decided to put a fence up so that no one would access the grounds. However, the fence also has environmental consequences, not only preventing the movement of people, but also of animals. And even more serious, it has barbed wire”, she criticised. She went on to clarify that Quercus not only denounced the installation of the fence, but also “earth movements or vehicle traffic, which must also be authorised”, however these other movements “were not subject to the administrative offense” because “there was no evidence” .
span>The Quercus manager also criticised the construction of car parks and a walkway in the area by the Polis Litoral da Ria Formosa, considering that “at the moment it serves no one” and gives a “wrong” signal to the promoters that “in the future it can serve the construction”.
span>“We are talking about a section that is between two of the most expensive developments in the Algarve [Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo], we can imagine the value that it represents in terms of real estate. I suppose that, for the company, paying these small fines is not very significant ”, she sais, criticising everyone’s“ lack of awareness ” in the defense of recognised environmental values.
span>In addition to belonging to the Natural Park, the area is also an integral part of the Natura2000 Network and the Ramsar convention, so there must be a stronger defense of the present environmental values, else we are at risk of losing a rich wet area for living and nesting of several species and for a more sustainable tourism in the Algarve.
em>Lusa news agency tried to contact Lisfina to obtain statements about the administrative offense via a telephone contact number available ‘online’, but the number is deactivated.
strong>Algarvedailynews have since received the following statement from Lisfina:
Lisbon, April 1, 2021 – Following the news published on the alleged misdemeanor by the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF), Lisfina would like to clarify the following:
1. Lisfina is not aware of any offense, either on the placement of barbed wire on the Praia do Ancão beach in who owns; either about deforestation procedure “abusive”.
2. In May 2020, an Embargo Notice was effectively lifted to the cleaning work that was underway on the ground, which it was promptly welcomed. Since then, Lisfina has no knowledge of any investigation process with a view to the application of administrative offense.
3. The fence was restored to private property after acts of vandalism that took place in June 2020, including demolition of the fence, cutting the fence and cutting pine trees by strangers, who were object of complaint with the GNR.
4. Lisfina has maintained regular contact with the ICNF and the Chamber Municipality of Loulé, having presented, in December 2020, a Forest Management Plan elaborated in a proactive way, without legally required, in order to enhance the location from the point of view landscaped, awaiting approval from the same.
em style=”color: #ffffff;”>Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/