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Eco-associations demand answers to Cacela Velha tree clearance

CacelaVelhaLandNational and region associations in the Algarve remain aghast at the destruction of ancient trees on ecological land near Cacela Velha and angry that there has been zero response to enquiries as to whom, if anyone, authorised the work that rendered 40 hectares of supposedly protected land looking like a battleground.

The associations say there is a "deafening silence" over the affair which has been raised with the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests, which you would think might take an interest, and in parliament.

The eight associations want answers and reasons behind the tearing down of trees in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a protected ecological and agricultural zone.

The group also questions the total removal of ground cover, without regard to species, size or location, which left bare ground that now is exposed to erosion, especially along the shoreline.

The destruction of the trees and the clearance of all the natural greenery happened on private property. For the original report, click HERE

The GNR's environmental protection division was contacted when the diggers started their work, reporting that the land cleaning was sanctioned by the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF) under Decree-Law 124 that covers the new land clearance regulations.

Local news agency, Sul Informação, quizzed the ICNF which later said that it has not authorised the destruction of trees, including old carob and olive, as it had not received an application, but it had authorised the cleaning of the land.

The group of associations state that many questions already have been asked as to how this destruction has been allowed to happen but after two weeks the official silence has been described as ‘deafening’ with not a single official statement whether an inquiry or investigation is underway.

Algarve MPs fared no better with questions raised in parliament remaining unanswered by the Minister of the Environment.

The eight associations that have signed the open letter want some answers, “so as to remove the climate of misinformation and suspicion surrounding this case."

ADRIP – Associação de Defesa, Reabilitação, Investigação e Promoção do Património Natural e Cultural de Cacela
AGECAL – Associação de Gestores Culturais do Algarve
ALMARGEM – Associação de Defesa do Património Cultural e Ambiental do Algarve
ATGDM – Associação das Terras e das Gentes da Dieta Mediterrânica
IN LOCO – Pensar no Global, Agir no Local
LPN – Liga para a Protecção da Natureza
QUERCUS – Associação Nacional de Conservação da Natureza

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0 #5 AL 2018-07-23 12:11
Quoting Denby:
Can anyone say how many tree's were cut down.

If you look at a satellite image of Google maps and compare it to an aerial picture of the area after the clearance you will get a good idea of how many trees were cut down. Protected trees can not be cut down, they should be pruned by a tree surgeon. In this case there was a self appointed tree surgeon that killed a whole lot of trees.
-1 #4 Gerry 2018-07-22 12:10
It would be a good idea if this 'land-clearance' law was publish in full (and with an English translation please), in stead of all the conflicting advice and pamphlets being branded about from the GNR, Safe Communities, Afpop and the local councils.
0 #3 Tim 2018-07-22 09:14
I live quite close to Cacela Velha and I have never noticed any tree's that were noteworthy for there age, height or beauty. However the remaining tree's of which are mostly Olive tree's have not been damaged and the field looks much better visually.
0 #2 Beverley Gibbons 2018-07-22 05:33
Has anyone checked if a planning application has been put in for development?
0 #1 Denby 2018-07-21 08:43
Can anyone say how many tree's were cut down.

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