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Ria Formosa island properties disproportionately targeted for demolition

DemolitionCulatraApril2017Of a list of 1,120 buildings along Portugal’s coastline which have received demolition orders in the last decade, less than half have been removed.

In the last ten years 489 coastal properties have been demolished, most of them on the Algarver’s Ria Formosa isands.

The excuse for these demolitions has been ‘the houses are in areas at risk of coastal erosion,’ despite the removal of island houses increasing the risk of coastal erosion, and ‘rising sea levels’ leading to spurious state concern for citizens’ safety.

The properties torn down under the messianic management of Sebastião Teixeira, the former president of Polis Litoral Ria Formosa before his unceremonious removal by the Minister for the Environment, represent 43% of the 1,120 buildings on the national list of coastal proerties to be demolished.

The Ria Formosa islanders legitimately claim to have been targeted, with rumours still swirling that big tourism businesses have been given the nod that parts of the islands will be leased for development when the inconvenient buildings have been removed.

There remain 631 houses, whose demolition should be completed by 2030, involving a bill of €20.5 million, or €32,500 per property, paid for by Brussels, as are most inconveniently large bills.

This latest deadline, issued by the Ministry of the Environment, should be treated with as much derision as previous announcements as the lame project now depends on the approval of new applications under the Brussels support for 2020/30.

Of the 884 buildings that the Polis Ria Formosa Society identified to be demolished in the island settlements of Farol, Hangares, Culatra, Praia de Faro and some islets, 442 have been trashed.

Of those, the first 77 were wrecked by the sea in Fuzeta in 2010. Of those still standing, 111 are first dwellings, most of them in Praia de Faro, and can only be removed when the residents are re-homed – which no-one is keen to pay for. But this process is long overdue, and Polis is being wound up – as it has been for the past three years.

In other parts of the country, progress has been slow. Further north, between Caminha and Espinho, 30 houses (26 in São Bartolomeu do Mar) were removed from a list of 213 identified along 122 kilometres - hardly brisk progress.

Meanwhile, new construction on the coastline is still being authorised, such as the vila development right on Galé beach.

___

As Mr Peter notes in the Comments section, the cold hand of the EU is involved:

Integrated Coastal Management

Announcements

  • The Commission adopted on 12 March 2013 a new initiative on Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management. Read more about the proposal here.

What is it about?

Coastal zones are among the most productive areas in the world, offering a wide variety of valuable habitats and ecosystems services that have always attracted humans and human activities. The beauty and richness of coastal zones have made them popular settlement areas and tourist destinations, important business zones and transit points. Currently, more 200 million European citizens live near coastlines, stretching from the North-East Atlantic and the Baltic to the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

But this intensive concentration of population and excessive exploitation of natural resources puts enormous pressure on our coastal ecosystems leading to biodiversity loss, habitats destruction, pollution, as well as conflicts between potential uses, and space congestion problems.

Coastal zones are also among the most vulnerable areas to climate change and natural hazards. Risks include flooding, erosion, sea level rise as well as extreme weather events. These impacts are far reaching and are already changing the lives and livelihoods of coastal communities.

Because the well-being of populations and the economic viability of many businesses in coastal zones depend on the environmental status of these areas, it is essential to make use of long term management tools, such as integrated coastal management, to enhance the protection of coastal resources whilst increasing the efficiency of their uses. A sectoral approach, lead to disconnected decisions that risk undermining each other, to inefficient use of resources and missed opportunities for more sustainable coastal development.

Integrated coastal management aims for the coordinated application of the different policies affecting the coastal zone and related to activities such as nature protection, aquaculture, fisheries, agriculture, industry, off shore wind energy, shipping, tourism, development of infrastructure and mitigation and adaptation to climate change. It will contribute to sustainable development of coastal zones by the application of an approach that respects the limits of natural resources and ecosystems, the so-called 'ecosystem based approach'.

Integrated coastal management covers the full cycle of information collection, planning, decision-making, management and monitoring of implementation. It is important to involve all stakeholders across the different sectors to ensure broad support for the implementation of management strategies.

In order to further promote sustainable development of coastal zones, the Commission adopted on the 12th of March 2013 a draft proposal for a Directive establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management.

The proposed instrument will require Member States to establish coastal management strategies that build further on the principles and elements set out in the Council Recommendation on Integrated Coastal Zone Management of 2002 and the Protocol to the Barcelona Convention on Integrated Coastal zone Management, ratified by the EU in 2010. 

Coherent application with maritime spatial planning will improve the sea-land interface planning and management, such as for instance connection of off shore wind energy installation to the electricity network on land or effects of infrastructure works to protect coastlines against erosion or flooding on activities in coastal waters such as aquaculture or protection of marine ecosystems.

Last updated: 08/06/2016

 

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/iczm/index_en.htm

 

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Comments  

-6 #10 Denby 2019-07-26 18:29
Not yawn, not at all ......
Very interesting.
-2 #9 Denby 2019-07-25 20:06
Still yawning, it's slow at algarvedailynews
+7 #8 nogin the nog 2019-07-24 10:48
hmm
Destroying the lives and lively hoods of those who this Government was supposed to protect is criminal. Time will tell if there are hidden agendas, and if so what will be the punishment. Several years of court cases that amount to bugger all.. I love this place but I wouldn't put any faith in the political elite doing the right thing by those who they are supposed to protect. :cry:
+4 #7 dw 2019-07-21 16:24
All the talk of biodiversity is a distraction from the real goal of clearing out the riff-raff for the benefit of the tourist industry. Meanwhile actual biodiversity is decimated by sand dredging and business-as-usual pollution.
+6 #6 Peter Booker 2019-07-15 10:07
"………such as aquaculture or protection of marine ecosystems."

On with the destruction, of course. But what about the protection of the Ria Formosa against sewage? What about the near disappearance of the sea-horses? These issues are a bit more difficult, and are therefore much further down the pecking order.
0 #5 Darcy 2019-07-14 14:22
What the article fails to comment on, is that these Islands form part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park and building's should be restricted to old or historical buildings, not modern dwellings.
+3 #4 Chip 2019-07-14 12:17
"maritime spatial planning" is a fancy name for kicking people out of their homes. Typical EU Newspeak!
+2 #3 Ed 2019-07-14 07:58
Quoting Peter Booker:
Your mention of Brussels, Ed, makes me wonder whether the destruction project supervised by Polis Litoral is an EU backed initiative. And whether Portugal is the only country making such moves to destroy beachside buildings. And whether the Atlantic coast is worse affected than the Mediterranean.
Spot on again Mr Booker. I have added an EU commentary to the article, an extract reads "In order to further promote sustainable development of coastal zones, the Commission adopted on the 12th of March 2013 a draft proposal for a Directive establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management."
+8 #2 Riverside Williams 2019-07-14 07:26
Superbly informative article New Ed ! Can anyone give us further information on the backgrounds behind the recent authorisations of coastal development? Which municipals, amounts to be invested, nationalities etc (Each application will have an estimate of works although often intentionally wildly misleading) Perhaps an update too on the riversides ? Threats of and actual riverside demolitions elsewhere in Portugal too so warning incomers not to be seduced by any claim of riverside frontage or river fishing rights?
0 #1 Peter Booker 2019-07-14 06:56
Your mention of Brussels, Ed, makes me wonder whether the destruction project supervised by Polis Litoral is an EU backed initiative. And whether Portugal is the only country making such moves to destroy beachside buildings. And whether the Atlantic coast is worse affected than the Mediterranean.

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