The Minister of Environment and Climate Action today defended the need for a strong consensus so that the process that led to the creation of the new marine protected area in the Algarve can be replicated.
“It is important to have everyone in the same boat to maintain commitments for the future and be able to replicate this process”, said Duarte Cordeiro.
The minister spoke at a session about the Recife do Algarve Marine Natural Park – Pedra do Valado, which took place at the Portuguese Pavilion at the 28th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP28) and brought together representatives from various stakeholders in the process.
Approved two weeks ago, two and a half years after it was proposed, it is the first marine protected area created in Portugal in more than two decades and a step towards the Government's goal of creating 30% of marine protected areas by 2026.
“It’s a huge task”, highlighted Duarte Cordeiro, adding, on the other hand, that if it was possible in the Algarve, in an area with a strong tourist footprint, “it’s possible almost anywhere”.
It is not the first time that Pedra do Velado has been mentioned by Portugal at COP28 and, over the course of several days, it was highlighted by several government officials who attended the summit, including the Prime Minister as an example of the preservation of marine biodiversity that the country wants to pass on to other countries.
In the same debate, promoted by the Oceano Azul Foundation and the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests, one of the responsible researchers also highlighted the importance of this protected marine area of community interest in the context of combating climate change.
“This has one of the only marine prairies in the country and now it will be protected”, highlighted Jorge Gonçalves, researcher at the Center for Marine Sciences at the University of Algarve, recalling the role of these ecosystems in capturing and storing carbon dioxide.
“Now we have the beginning of a new process”, added, on the other hand, the president of Silves City Council, Rosa Palma, considering that now the challenge is to ensure the preservation of that area, an even greater responsibility.
COP28 started on November 30th and is running until the 12th in Dubai. Today, the themed program was dedicated to nature and oceans.
Author: Mariana Caeiro, sent by the Lusa agency to COP28
Lusa traveled to COP28 at the invitation of the Oceano Azul Foundation