Lagoa wetland sidelined in new classification of ‘Local Protected Areas’
The appeal from the MP linked into World Wetlands Day on February 2, and aims to commit the municipalities to dealing with the Ministry of the Environment to set up a management plan as these areas are rich in biodiversity, especially bird life.
The socialist MP, who pushed the 2018 draft resolution in parliament for the ecological protection and legal classification of these areas, wrote to the four Algarve Councils simultaneously in the hope they will actually do something rather than talk about it.
Lagoa Council, notably, has been duplicitous in its treatment of the Alagoas Brancas site by failing to include it even though the fresh water wetland area is a sanctuary for bird life. The Council has granted permission to developer Edificios Atlântico to build a supermarket on the site and continued to support business over nature, despite the plethora of supermarkets littering the city.
Graça commented, “I emphasise my great satisfaction with the enthusiasm with which the initiative was received by all the mayors. All the Council presidents showed up at the meetings and we had absolute total commitment to carry forward the legal classification of these wetlands in their territories, because each Council already, albeit in isolation, was working towards this goal,”
“This commitment, which encompasses all parties’ leaders, is very positive for an environmentally-excellent Algarve that is central to the ecological balance of our region,” concluded Luís Graça, also failing to mention the Alagoas Brancas site in Lagoa which currently is the subject of a study by Almargem, SPEA and the Algarve’s University.
Lagoa Council refers to the unique wetland, that gave the city its name, as “just dirty water full of mosquitos, and claims it will “go bankrupt” if it has to compensate the developer on withdrawing planning permission.
The MP emphasised that the Ministry of the Environment recently has awarded significant financial support to Almargem, within the framework of an application to the Environmental Fund, for the study of the wetlands of the Algarve.
Luís Graça considers, “the involvement of municipalities as decisive for the classification and protection of these important wetlands and renews its readiness to continue to support the defence and protection of the natural and environmental resources of the Algarve,” with the notable exception of one of the most important.