Lagoa dos Salgados Nature Reserve is “added value” for Silves and neighboring municipalities

Environmentalists believe that «protecting Lagoa dos Salgados, classifying it as a Natural Reserve, is in everyone's interest»

The public consultation of proposal for the creation of the Lagoa dos Salgados Nature Reserve ended last Thursday, 20 January, and eight organizations linked to the environment consider that this reserve is "an obvious economic and social added value for the Municipality of Silves, but also for the surrounding municipalities".

The associations A Rocha, Almargem, Natureza Portugal/WWF and Vita Nativa, the League for the Protection of Nature, the Portuguese Botanical Society, the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds and ZERO – Associação Terrestre Sustentável are the signatories of this press release. .

"Is proposal for the creation of the first natural reserve of the XNUMXst century was the subject of a wide discussion, which included a clarification session, having received a record number of participations - more than 800 - having received broad support from the population of Silves, the Algarve, the country and various international organisations», they recall. .

«To the support of the Municipality of Silves, to this natural reserve, were added the declarations of dozens of companies associated with the hotel and tourism of a national and foreign nature, as well as many local and national Non-Governmental Organizations for the Environment, which presented their positive opinion together with 32 foreign organizations dedicated to the protection of migratory birds, from the Arctic to South Africa”, they add.

In this sense, these associations/entities say that they consider that the typology of Protected Area (PA) adopted in the proposal – that of a National Nature Reserve – «is the appropriate one, taking into account the relevance of the present natural values, as well as their eminently supra-regional character'.

«This classification will grant a legal protection status to one of the last areas of the Algarve coast still with little construction and human presence, and also to one of the rare landscapes of the central coast of the Algarve constituted by areas of pasture in old dry orchards, and areas with vegetation cover giving added social and scenic value to the area», they defend.

The process does not promise, however, to be easy, since, like the Sul Informação did it work, Millenium/BCP, owner of land in the area, has already “threatened” with a millionaire claim.

What is certain is that environmental organizations «believe that the creation of the future Lagoa dos Salgados Nature Reserve constitutes an obvious economic and social added value for the Municipality of Silves, but also for the surrounding municipalities, namely for the tourist activity in Silves. , Albufeira and the Algarve, insofar as it constitutes a differentiating factor, centered on Nature Tourism, a tourist product of quality and high added value, and not seasonal (generator of stable employment throughout the year), which has been object of growing demand, which translates into a high occupancy rate».

In this regard, environmentalists recall that this “area is currently included in the promotional campaign and in the activity plan of the Algarve Tourism Region, Silves City Council and other public entities, as well as dozens of tourist entertainment companies, operators, agencies of national and foreign travel and local hotel units'.

“The growing interest of the local population as a space for leisure and enjoyment of contact with nature also contributes to this result, which has a high level of visitation, as well as for the educational function and environmental awareness of school populations”, they add.

The signatory organizations of this communiqué “believe that protecting Lagoa dos Salgados, classifying it as a Nature Reserve, is in everyone's interest, and as such, everyone should be invited to participate in its future management”.