Câmara de Lagoa has already signed with the Environmental Fund to buy Alagoas Brancas

Municipality of Lagoa can now move towards acquiring land

The Municipality of Lagoa and the Environmental Fund have already signed the protocol that will allow the acquisition of land in Alagoas Brancas, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action has just announced.

«The amount of 3,7 million euros has already been transferred by the Environmental Fund and the Municipality of Lagoa can move forward with the acquisition of those lands, measuring around 9 hectares, with a view to creating the future Natural Park of the City of Lagoa», he adds the Ministry.

The total investment in this project is 4.430.000 euros, of which 3.670.000 euros are directly financed by the Environmental Fund, this amount corresponding to the portion allocated to the acquisition of land. The remaining 760 thousand euros, allocated to projects and requalification of the space, are the responsibility of the Lagoa Chamber.

The technical project, under the responsibility of the Municipality of Lagoa, «will consist of a renaturalization project, in order to create an area of ​​natural value that allows the visitation and enjoyment of this space», and will be the subject of an opinion from the ICNF.

The expected completion of what the Ministry of the Environment calls «Parque Natural da Cidade de Lagoa» by the Municipality is the end of 2025.

The Alagoas Brancas site is a wetland of around 6 hectares in the municipality of Lagoa. Despite its size, it has an interesting diversity of bird species that are important from the point of view of conserving national and European populations.

In 2019, Almargem – Association for the Defense of Cultural and Environmental Heritage of the Algarve coordinated a study of three wetlands in the Algarve, which brought together several experts, a study financed by the Environmental Fund.

Alagoas Brancas (Lagoa) was one of the three wetlands analyzed in detail and, in this specific case, the natural values ​​identified in this study allowed us to have a correct perception of the biodiversity existing in the location.

However, there was an approved detailed plan for the site, which provided for the installation of a retail park in that area, which is why, for years, Lagoa City Council denied the possibility of going back, claiming that it would have to pay compensation of several million euros to land owners.

It turns out that the destruction of this small but important wetland, frequented by hundreds of birds and where there are botanical and faunal species of great importance, has always been contested either by environmental protection associations, with Almargem and SPEA at the head, or by a citizens movement.

Over the years, organized demonstrations in favor of the defense of the area, a petition that gathered enough thousands of signatures to be discussed in the Assembly of the Republic, site visits by deputies and other party officials, meetings with representatives of political parties, as well as with the current Minister of the Environment and with the Lagoa Chamber itself.

The works, in fact, started, but were immediately subjected to a precautionary measure, which forced them to stop.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Action states, in the note sent to newsrooms today, that it was committed “to finding the best solution to, in conjunction with the municipality of Lagoa, proceed with the safeguarding and adequate management of this wetland, as well as the values natural resources present there, in accordance with the provisions of the law”.

In this context, during the year 2023, and together with the Lagoa City Council, the hypothesis of acquiring the Alagoas Brancas subdivision and adjacent land was evaluated.

Luís Encarnação, president of the municipality, had already told the Sul Informação, be in negotiations with the land owners and developers of the commercial area, to purchase the space in question.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Action states that it has assumed, in this way, «the commitment to support, through the Environmental Fund, this project that aims to create a Natural Park for the City of Lagoa in Lagoa (Algarve), a commitment that was now guaranteed».

A curious fact in the Ministry of the Environment's statement is this entity's apparent confusion about what the term «Natural Park» means. Due to its small size (and other characteristics), Alagoas Brancas can never be classified as a «Natural Park», but rather as a Local Protected Area, namely a Local Nature Reserve (like those being created, on the initiative of the Municipality of Loulé, in this municipality, in Foz do Almargem and Lagoa do Trafal).


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