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Environmentalists’ appeal to President

Four environmental associations have sent a letter to the Portuguese President to alert him of the contentious tourist resort that is planned for the Praia Grande-Salgados area in Albufeira. In the letter sent on August 22 and made public last week, Almargem, A Rocha, LPN (Liga para a Protecção da Natureza) and SPEA (Associação Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves) appealed to President Cavaco Silva to attribute a protection status to the Lagoa dos Salgados. The letter also refers to the online petition against the approved construction of the resort, comprising three hotels, five holiday villages, shopping complexes and an 18-hole golf course.

Launched in June, the petition now has more than 15,000 signatures to save the coastal lagoon, which is known for its rich wildlife and has become one of the most visited locations for birdwatching in the country. In response to the comments made by Silves mayor Isabel Soares that the project would create more jobs, the letter goes on to mention the nearby CS resort that is almost deserted, due to their struggling financial situation: “It’s a discredited defence.”

Appealing to his connection to the area, the associations describe the President as their “last glimmer of hope” to halt the planned multimillion-euro resort, with construction due to begin early next year.