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Quercus – 'demolish all buildings on the Algarve's Ria Formosa islands'

riaformosaThe environmental group Quercus has taken a stance on the issue of dwellings on the Ria Formosa islands and has stated its position in no uncertain terms in a new report.

The nature association considers it "essential" that all private and ‘without public utility’ buildings in the Ria Formosa are demolished so the sand dunes and associated wildlife can return to their natural states.

In a report prepared by Quercus and launched 27 years to the day after the creation of the Natural Park of the Ria Formosa, Quercus argues that "it is essential to proceed immediately with the removal of all buildings other than public utility ones that are present on the Ria Formosa islands."

Quercus points to several problems related to the human occupation of the Ria Formosa islands which are fully protected by various European environmental laws, but still has managed to drive away some species of birds and plants due to man’s influence.

"Currently, many areas of the natural park are weakened due to heavy tourism and urban pressures, namely those buildings in dune areas, using these areas for illegal parking, and illegal camping," read the Quercus report.
 
This situation, "leads to the destruction of sand dunes and habitat loss due to water pollution resulting from discharges of urban and industrial wastewater, also due to a boats washing their engines."

Quercus says the natural park "is still affected by various threats such as the possible expansion of Faro airport, aquaculture, the use of illegal fishing gear, the indiscriminate harvesting of bivalves, the dumping of solid waste and debris, overgrazing in some sensitive areas and the presence of exotic species of weeds which need to be eradicated."

The association proposes to adopt new management measures to protect the lagoon system and conserve the "species and natural habitats of community importance for water birds and globally threatened flora species" and it all should be protected by the Spatial Plan of the Ria Formosa.

Quercus also criticized the human actions of reopening sand bars to allow seawater to flow in, which in its view "interrupts the natural dynamics of the Ria Formosa islands and has led to the silting up of the interior of the Ria which then needed dredging which causes irreversible damage to lagoon ecosystems."

However, man is nothing when compared to nature and Quercus states that the main threat to the whole area is coastal erosion.

 

A petition to stop the destruction of islanders' homes now has been launched on Avaaz:

https://secure.avaaz.org/po/petition/Assembleia_da_Republica_Portuguesa_Parem_imediatamente_com_as_demolicoes_na_Ria_Formosa_1/?czxqMab

 

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Comments  

0 #4 Mr John 2014-12-10 18:56
Quoting Simon:
I guess "true fishermen" should be allowed to live on the Islands with a maximum set per Island. They then need to install Solar Power and have a communal sewage system so as not to impact nature. More wooden paths and no access to Dunes would take care of Human erosion and help the Islands build their own solution to coastal erosion by trapping more sand in the dunes.

Hello Simon,
Not to be dis respective but has the medication (you know) in a perfect world, in a perfect (democratic) society it might work but do you know where you are, have you read the front page news ?
In this country,, never.
0 #3 Simon 2014-12-10 16:35
I guess "true fishermen" should be allowed to live on the Islands with a maximum set per Island. They then need to install Solar Power and have a communal sewage system so as not to impact nature. More wooden paths and no access to Dunes would take care of Human erosion and help the Islands build their own solution to coastal erosion by trapping more sand in the dunes.
0 #2 Peter Booker 2014-12-10 16:20
"The nature association considers it "essential" that all private and ‘without public utility’ buildings in the Ria Formosa are demolished so the sand dunes and associated wildlife can return to their natural states."

There will be grave protests on all the islands, in particular Faro Island if they try to knock down all private buildings. What on earth does without public utility mean? With no electricity supply? With neither water, electricity nor sewerage? What about the village and restaurants on Farol? And Estaminé on Deserta? Alternatively, what is a public utility building? Is it one owned by the electricity company or the water company?

This stuff is so vague that perhaps they at Quercus do not wish to be taken seriously.
0 #1 Peter Booker 2014-12-10 06:54
"man is nothing when compared to nature and Quercus states that the main threat to the whole area is coastal erosion."

This remark is a hostage to fortune in the wider debate about global warming. Does Quercus really mean it?

Coastal erosion has been happening since before Portugal was thought of, but the possible expansion of Faro airport has not. A rag bag of issues here which are not ostensibly linked. Does Quercus show in detail where these anomalous practices take place? Is this report available online?

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