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Furnas Lake Land Development and Watershed Plan


The implementation of the Spatial Plan for the River Basin of Lagoa das Furnas (POBHLF), which is underway, aims to reverse the eutrophication of a body of water. Accordingly, the Azores Regional Government acquired land in the Basin, resulting in the removal of the vast majority of the existing cattle in the area. The management of these lands has not only been appropriated to greatly reduce the flow of fertilizers and manure, but for the creation of the Landscape Lab. With the acquisition of land, a unique opportunity materialized through the implementation of a vigorous POBHLF, first and foremost to save the lake but also to assist the exploration of a sustainable management of the territory concentrating on ecological and social economic benefits. The Landscape Laboratory is a counterpart to the technology parks, but in this particular case there are specialists distributed amongst the landscape with experience in various fields of natural sciences including Forestry, Agronomy, Garden - Fruit Crops, Biology, Ecology, Biotechnology, Environmental Psychology, Landscaping, and Land Art Tourism.

The following are various projects and partnerships that have emerged:

* MIT Green Islands - Woody Biomass: Test which aims to study the potential of several tree species (including native species) for energy production through incineration.

* Furnas Pollen
: The objective, through the analysis of pollen in the soil, is to discover the flora of Furnas before and during the colonization of the islands.

* Wicker Collection: After the removal of shrub and tree infestations, the banks of the Rosal River which was once highly degraded, were regularized and consequently planted with a collection of wicker. What was once a degraded area shall have the potential for ecological, economic and social promise, promoting the traditional art of basketry.

* Orchard of Primitive Apple Varieties of Furnas: Orchard of Primitive Apple Varieties of Furnas: This objective will be accomplished by the recovery of degraded pastures and culminated with the introduction of 330 traditional varieties of apple trees of Furnas. The objective is to demonstrate the productive and economic potential of agricultural activities compatible with sound water recovery of the Furnas Lake, consolidating and diversifying the local economy and promoting local values.

* Sata Forest: This area is being reestablished with the support of Sata, the regional airline operator, with the objective of creating an area of great scenic beauty. The planned afforestation represents different SATA destinations, emphasizing the use of native species from that region.

* PTLogo: Local and business community involvement regarding the effort to colonize the landscape and recover Lagoa das Furnas.

* REINFFORCE Arboretum: Network of arboretums installed for the study of climate change along the European Atlantic coast.

* ZMA Environment: Project with the inclusion of the Army for environmental interventions, with a quota of 9 military personnel participating in fieldwork several days a week. This partnership has been awarded 1st prize on the national level and allows the military to acquire a professional competence.

* Scouts: Involvement of local people in the project of transforming the landscape of the Furnas Lake Basin.

* Birdlife Islands: This project consists of the placement of platforms/islands strategically positioned to become an enticement for the avifauna. These islands could serve as a shelter for waterfowl and promote Bird watching, an increasingly popular activity that in the Azores.

* Seed Orchards: The nuclei of native species with selected varieties, installed in an area in order to promote cross-pollination and seed mass, reducing pressure on natural populations.

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