Two weeks have passed since we wrote here about the proposed development that threatens Lagoa dos Salgados, one of the Algarve’s most important sites for birds and birdwatchers. During that time opposition to the plans has been mounting.
However, this is far from being a new problem. Salgados has been under threat for many years. What has happened now, however, is that agreement has actually been given by Silves Câmara for this awful development to go ahead and this really has concentrated people’s minds. There is a great deal of anger now at what may be allowed to happen to this wonderful site.
Detailed accounts of the troubled history of Salgados and the past efforts by SPEA (Sociedade Portuguesa para Protecção das Aves) and the RSPB to avert the development threat and secure Special Protection Area status for the lagoon can be read here and here. The sad fact, however, is that they have made little or no difference; their protests have been almost totally ignored.
What we now see are other local organisations joining in. Almargem and the Liga para a Protecção da Natureza both issued statements condemning the proposals within days of the latest announcement. More importantly, both have lodged formal complaints with the European Commission about Salgados, particularly regarding the failure of the Portuguese State to comply with the EU Birds Directive and afford the site the protection that it merits.
To demonstrate opposition to the development, not just from within Portugal but internationally, an on-line petition was started, which at the time of writing has gathered almost 6,000 signatures. If you haven’t already signed it, please click here and do it now.
If this proposed development is allowed to proceed, it will be a scandal.
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