So it's confirmed that everything is loot?

The tragedy of last year's fires has branded public opinion with iron and fire. A mixture of shock, incomprehension, […]

“Cleaning” and felling trees in Cacela Velha – Photo: Teresa Patrício

The tragedy of last year's fires has branded public opinion with iron and fire.
A mixture of shock, misunderstanding, revolt, fear.

On vacation, the head of the Government told us, between a focus group and another, that everything was fine, and that that dizzy cockroach who played the role of Minister of Home Affairs was in full control of the situation to which she had contributed, with the usual dance of party chairs in the Civil Protection, weeks before.

Time and reality took charge of dismantling this fiction, leaving behind, smoking, more than a hundred corpses, and a country physically and morally shaken.

But time is also a healer, and, a year ago, what goes there, goes there.

This year, they tell us, we are much better prepared, because I don't know how many millions – after all, what matters – were poured into the problem, despite its fundamental structure, based on territorial disorder and the emptying and death of a significant part of the our “interior” or rural landscapes have not been disturbed at all.

Unless one considers the furious interpretation made of the concept of fuel management, embodied in the infamous Decree-Law no. 124/2006, of June 28th, in the meantime amended by Law no. 76/2017, of August 17th, which defines the National Forest Fire Defense System.

In the wake of this legislation, the Government launched a blind and muscular campaign of dendrophobic persecution, nationwide, in which everything that is green is to be cut. So at the root level, preferably...

In good Portuguese fashion, such an opportunity was quickly seen as an opportunity to escape all kinds of villains that one wants to practice in environmental terms, just invoking the bogeyman of fireworks and, of course, the holy water of legislation, which washes away all sins , now interpreted as a plan, almost divine, to prune into oblivion every little plant that has that roguish air of someone who wants to burn us...

And things are going so well, that even in protected areas it thrives, as we all learned in recent days, looking at Cacela-Velha.

In one of the most valuable landscapes of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, its authentic ex-libris, dozens of hectares of vegetation were razed, literally that straw.

“Fuel management”, let no one be mistaken! And, according to information released by the National Republican Guard's Nature and Environmental Protection Service, everything was right, right, with the high sponsorship of the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (in this paragraph, I thought it best to put the quotes in quotation marks. dubious terms, so as not to be deceiving anyone here).

If only the chameleon were as protected in these habitats as it is in the illegal construction of the barrier islands…

However, as he was scolded, there is already said-for-not-said, and the game of pushing responsibilities has begun. Not to mention that the land shaving actions were suspended. Because they went to the cliffs. But continue. Things…

For posterity, the fact remains that ICNF authorizes, or, at the very least, does not adequately supervise, major interventions in a Natural Park area, in an area of ​​particular landscape sensitivity, not only for the environmental component, but also for the cultural one, right there. on the edge of the built-up complex of Cacela-Velha!

Later, after the crocodile tears have been wiped away (and there will be them!), and maybe paid a few insignificant fines, it will be interesting to follow what follows on the terrain in question. Concrete? Grass with holes and flags? Avocado? Polyethylene? Everything but the vegetation devil, who brings fire attached! Always in the name of fuel management, please note!

I don't know if you remember, but a few years ago, he made fun of George W. Bush in Portugal, because of a theory he gave voice to, originating from the powerful LOBBY American logger, who was brilliant, so stupid: if we cut down all the trees, there will be no more fires, for lack of fuel.

With superb playfulness, we sighed with relief that even in Portugal, which is a place given to unusual people, such stupidity never reaps sustenance. With the same line of thought, even if referring to different issues, a few days ago our illustrious Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa told Trump that Portugal is not the USA.

If we think that Ronaldo easily won the elections, and without having to make sad figures for a concert by Xutos, and given the height of stupidity and indignity that we have reached, and that this situation in Cacela is just another example , it will be more prudent for our President of the Republic to reconsider, before sending such mouths...


Author Gonçalo Gomes is a landscape architect, president of the Algarve Regional Section of the Portuguese Association of Landscape Architects (APAP)
(and writes according to the old Spelling Agreement)