Loulé: seminar reinforces the importance of society as an agent of civil protection

Eighth seminar “Civil Protection and the Community” took place on 13 October

“Civil protection is not just for women and men in uniform. It is a matter for the entire population that begins with each of the citizens», said Vítor Aleixo at the eighth Seminar “Civil Protection and the Community” that took place last Thursday, October 13, in Loulé. 

For the third time in Loulé since exercising government functions, Patrícia Gaspar, Secretary of State for Civil Protection, came to attend one of the main forums that, in Portugal, brings together specialists, not only academics, but also men who are in the field, in a sharing knowledge, experiences and debating ideas around the topic of civil protection, from prevention to planning.

An event that «is proof of the importance of networking», as this Government representative stressed.

The seminar discussed the topic of resilient cities for disaster risk reduction, but also the climate and climate change issues that are inextricably linked with civil protection, the challenges it faces and the impact of fires on
landscape management.

In addition, more practical issues were discussed, such as evacuation plans for areas threatened by tsunami (the case of Loulé), integrated security in buildings and the role of Sapadores Florestais. Matters that allow «preventing, planning, adapting the territory and human communities and, at the same time, working on territorial resilience», said the mayor of Loulé.

Underlining the importance of this Seminar, which could constitute a model to be replicated by other municipalities, the Secretary of State highlighted the central role of the local level in terms of civil protection, especially because it is here that «over 90% of the occurrences begin and end".



“No matter how hard we work on disaster risk reduction policies at the central state level, if there is no solid and consistent basis at the local level, everything else will have much more difficulty in having the desired effect”, he clarified. But this is also a work on a global scale because «there is no single country that can respond to this type of situation».

Patrícia Gaspar also highlighted that «although there is still a long way to go, we have already evolved a lot and we are almost on par with other realities at the European Union level». This is indeed «a generational challenge, to bring people to this area and make all citizens aware that each of us is an active agent of our own security».

With praise for the work carried out in Loulé, the Secretary of State justified the strong regional and municipal mobilization for the matter of civil protection: «it is due to people's enormous awareness of the risks that the region has, be they forest, coastal, urban areas or seismic risk'.

Vítor Aleixo highlighted the focus of the executive he leads “in the protection of people, their communities and their territory, whether on land or sea”.



Alongside the creation of a civil protection structure «with some density» or the commitment to knowledge, the Loulé City Council has also attracted the establishment of State bodies linked to protection and relief in the municipality, benefiting from its strategic position: as this is the case of the Regional Center for Civil Protection, the expansion of the municipal heliport that will allow the operation of six aircraft, the regional building of INEM, critical equipment for the functions of security of the State or even the future regional headquarters of the GNR.

As for actions that are in the pipeline within the scope of the municipal civil protection device, councilor Carlos Carmo said “next year” the first phase of the warning and alert system for the risk of earthquakes and tsunamis will be implemented.

After the fires that affected the coast of the municipality last summer, the Municipality is now paying attention to what is happening south of the city of Loulé.

«Against all statistics, it is there, in the parishes of Quarteira and Almancil, where we have more forest fires, in the area of ​​Trafal and Ludo. Therefore, we are going to extend the surveillance program also to the territories on the county's coast», said the councilor. The creation of a team of Sapadores Florestais to increase vigilance and resilience is one of the bets.