Open letter lists seven reasons to stop destruction of wetland
Dozens of citizens protested in Faro on Monday (May 22) to call attention to the situation of the Alagoas Brancas wetland in Lagoa, which remains under serious threat of being destroyed to make way for a new commercial area.
The demonstration was held outside the headquarters of the regional development commission (CCDR Algarve) and the environmental authority (APA – ARH Algarve).
According to a statement by the ‘Salvar as Alagoas Brancas’ citizens movement, both entities were delivered an open letter listing “seven reasons to stop the destruction of Alagoas Brancas”.
“CCDR Algarve’s president José Apolinário vowed to organise meetings between the competent authorities and discuss the arguments presented in the open letter,” the movement says, vowing that citizens will keep a watchful eye on the situation and will “not allow” the destruction of the wetland.
The movement’s open letter lists climate as the first reason to stop the destruction of Alagoas Brancas, stressing that it would worsen the effects of climate change, followed by biodiversity, given that the wetland is home to over 145 species of birds and 300 species of fauna and flora.
Water is listed as the third reason, as it “makes no sense to drain and level” natural water sources. Safety follows in fourth, with the movement stressing that building a commercial area on top of an aquifer can put people at risk.
Economy is fifth due to the risks that a new ‘retail park’ pose to local businesses, while justice is sixth due to the movement’s belief that Lagoa Council can reject the project without having to pay millions in compensation (as the council claims).
Lastly, in seventh, is sustainability: “Destroying a natural habitat in an urban centre goes against the objectives of sustainable development, the agenda for biodiversity 20/30 and climate summits,” it adds.