Campaigners fighting to save Alagoas Brancas – Lagoa’s tiny wetland paradise for so many breeding birds – got the worst possible news this week.
Socialist-led Lagoa Câmara (town council) which has consistently ‘flip-flapped’ over this issue has finally said there is nothing it can do but ‘comply with the 2008 municipal plan’ (which involves destroying the precious urban wildlife sanctuary in favour of creating a new industrial centre).
Clearing work has already started with devastating results.
Photographs and clips over social media feature birds with wings and legs destroyed lying among detritus.
Say commentators, “this is disgusting. Complete irresponsibility and total lack of care for nature by the Câmara again”.
As to the executive’s bleat that ‘there is nothing it can do’ to save the little wetland, critics say it is “monumental rubbish”, citing incidents elsewhere where public opinion has served to ‘change bad policies’ before they’re enacted.
Suffice it to say, campaigners are not giving up.
Lagoa’s insistence on Alagoas destruction will be ‘beamed to the world’ via social media.
“With everything that is happening to the planet, it is important to preserve this place. We need something with international impact”, said a source. “We will have to appeal to people’s emotions through images, words and sounds”.
Already the Facebook page Salvar a lagoa de Lagoa / Save Lagoa’s lagoon (freshwater wetland habitat) has heartbreaking images of birds crippled by council clearing work, and the zeal to protect Alagoas Brancas is amplifying.
Queries veteran campaigner Anabela Blofeld, how is it that Lagoa Câmara doesn’t understand the bottom line? “Governments all over the world are being advised to protect natural areas – yet Lagoa is doing exactly the opposite, in order to fulfill a municipal plan that has technically expired to construct a line of warehouses”.
Reacting to the deluge of critical posts online, one commentator has written: “Our ‘poor’ political representatives are prisoners of urbanistic plans”.
Blofeld is more scathing: “We’re faced with a council that is not in the least bit interested in protecting the environment or respecting public opinion, despite daily news on the state of the planet.
“Alagoas Brancas and all its beauty and wealth could soon be consigned to the history books”, she laments – though all indications are that this won’t be allowed to happen without a great deal more damaging soundbites aimed at the Câmara.