Alagoas Brancas stalemate: PAN calls for answers

With Lagoa council staying mysteriously quiet over a report that explains the folly of building on top of the Alagoas Brancas wetland site (click here), PAN (the party for People Animals and Nature) has grasped the nettle, calling on the environment ministry for action.

The bottom line of PAN’s intervention is that there should be an updated study by the ICNF (institute of nature conservation and forestries) in line with the detailed scientific report presented by Almargem last month.

Explains the Algarve branch of the party in a press release this week: “the municipal council of Lagoa seems not to have looked at the importance of Alagoas Brancas” within the context that wetland areas these days are seen as playing “an important role in the control of flooding and erosion, in the purification and feeding of natural water reservoirs, in counteracting the greenhouse effect through the retention of carbon dioxide and of course having all the value associated with ecosystems constituted by a large set of living beings that make these places their permanent or temporary habitat”.

PAN goes as far as to question why Lagoa council approved plans to develop the site the week before Almargem’s detailed study was presented.

“Good sense and good management” should have seen decisions delayed until all information was on the table.

“This did not happen”, says PAN’s release – thus in the interests of protecting Alagoas Brancas, the ICNF should be made to produce a new study, using Almargem’s data – bearing in mind that the original carried out in 2017 was “incorrect”, and trashed by all those who know and love the area (click here).

Listing the various points of protective legislation that can be adopted to preserve Alagoas Brancas, PAN stresses that the way ahead is for Lagoa council to change the municipal plan (which it keeps quoting as justification to build on the historic wetland).

Instead of being deemed an ‘urban zone’, the site can be awarded ecological reserve status, “guaranteeing its preservation and long-term sustainability”.

This way, Alagoas Brancas could become “a source of pride for the people of Lagoa” showing that they know “how to defend and appreciate the value of their natural patrimony” over what otherwise are essentially “extemporaneous ideals of a purely economistic nature”.

As PAN’s questions were tabled in parliament, the Federal Republic of Germany awarded one of Alagoas Brancas’ main defenders, Dr Manfred Temme, the Order of Merit for his lifetime engagement in nature conservation and research.

Dr Temme has repeatedly tried to persuade Lagoa council of Alagoas Brancas enormous importance (click here).

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