Environmental Fund has transferred €3.7 million to council’s coffers to buy wetland
After a seven-year battle which at times seemed practically lost, environmentalists are finally celebrating the salvation of the Alagoas Brancas wetland in Lagoa.
The municipal council of Lagoa has already received €3.7 million from Portugal’s Environmental Fund (Fundo Ambiental) in order to purchase the land from developers and pave the way for the creation of the Natural Park of the City of Lagoa (Parque Natural da Cidade de Lagoa).
The news has been confirmed in an official statement by the Portuguese Government.
“The Environmental Fund of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Action has signed a protocol with the Municipality of Lagoa that will allow the acquisition of land in Alagoas Brancas. The amount of €3.7 million has already been transferred by the Environmental Fund, and the Municipality of Lagoa can move forward with the acquisition of approximately nine hectares of land for the creation of the future Natural Park of the City of Lagoa,” the statement reads.
The project will cost €4.4 million in its entirety, the government clarifies.
“The technical project, under the responsibility of the Municipality of Lagoa, will involve a renaturalisation project to create a natural area suitable to be visited and enjoyed,” it adds, explaining that it will undergo review by the ICNF (Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests) and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
For years, local citizens and environmentalists have been fighting the plans to effectively destroy the wetland area in order create a large-scale commercial establishment.
Their case has always been based around the hundreds of bird species and other wildlife that can be found at Alagoas Brancas, from seldom-seen birds to rare plants.