Expatica news

Mayors of Aljezur and Odemira fight back against government on the issue of natural park greenhouses

The Mayors of Aljezur and Odemira Municipal Councils, José Gonçalves and José Alberto Guerreiro, today published a Joint Position on “the publication and effects” of the Council of Ministers’ Resolution (RCM) No. 179/2019, which establishes a special agricultural rules that are applicable to greenhouses in the southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina Natural Park (PNSACV).

The mayors of Aljezur and Odemira state that they are “concerned about the practical effects of the government allowing the continued densification of protected crops and the consequent social pressure” in the Natural Park area, saying that “they are not against agricultural business or any other activity”, provided that they “fit in with the environmental development models ”of the Regional Spatial Planning Plans and Municipal Master Plans, as well as the objectives and rules of the Costa Vicentina Natural Park

Both mayors “regret that most of their proposals were not adopted” into the government’s legislation, although they point out that they feel that they participated “constructively in trying to put forward a balanced answer between agriculture and the protection of environmental values ??present in the territory, some with European protection status”.

They state that “they have been and are currently in good faith, and at all times available for a conciliation procedure”’, regretting that they were not summoned to any other working meetings following the submission of the Final Report, and that they were kept in the dark regarding the “content of the Council of Ministers’ Solution report until its publication”.

They argue that “protected” agriculture and temporary accommodation on farms should have limits and be further controlled within the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, and “consider it imperative not to increase the limits set for protected agriculture in the Park”. This is something the government is yet to do.

The mayors consider the government’s legislation to be “intended to continue to circumvent the provisions of the Park’s Planning Plan”, which defines the area which must be free of greenhouses and therefore not be cultivated.  It also allows farmers to continue to densify already covered areas on farms, which the mayors are against.

In their joint communiqué, the two neighbouring municipalities underline the importance of the coexisting regional and local planning work they do together, as well as the agriculture restrictions existing in the National Agricultural Reserve – RAN and the National Ecological Reserve – REN, which should be propagated to the southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina Natural Park.