Navelwort Umbilicus rupestris.jpg

We won’t be fooled

Dear Editor,

Regarding the article that was featured in the Algarve Resident, July 13 concerning Mayor Soares defending the development of Lagoa Salgados when she stated that ‘the development will enhance rather than damage the environmental beauty of the area and also create many new jobs. We believe it is in the best interest of the developers of this project to look after the environment and the local fauna and flora, as these are of great importance in attracting possible clients.’

I am sorry but Mayor Soares has totally misjudged this situation and failed to take into account the deep feelings of a vast number of people.

The bottomline is Lagoa dos Salgados does NOT need any development – what it does need is protection and a strong viable management plan implemented by SPEA/RSPB.

The dune area to the east of Salgados also needs immediate protection in order to safeguard this delicate hinterland from development. Other vulnerable natural areas in the Algarve  also need this cloak of protection such as Benafim near Rocha de Pena and the Loulé farm area adjacent to Quinta do Lago. These areas are valuable ecosystems and are part of the Portuguese people’s natural heritage and should be cherished, nurtured  and celebrated: not sacrificed for short term monetary gain.

In this new millennium, I just find it astonishing that more and more natural areas are being sacrificed to make way for developments in a market that is both under-subscribed and saturated with half finished projects that have floundered.

The Algarve is abundant in wildlife and areas of outstanding beauty. Surely the way forward is green tourism, sustainability and a strong investment in the region’s rich natural heritage.

With forethought and imagination, projects can be established – Lagoa dos Salgados being a case in point that can bring employment and money into the local economy.

In my opinion, the proposed development by Finalgarve is not necessary, it is misguided and a betrayal of a natural heritage.

Mayor Soares, as Abraham Lincoln once said: ‘‘You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

Jon Hardacre, By email