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Lisbon ,  September 15, 2019

Vasco Cordeiro defends community involvement in the goal of ensuring sustainability of the Azores Sea

The President of the Government called for the involvement of communities in the projects that are being developed to ensure the sustainability of the Azores Sea, mentioning three fundamental challenges for the Region to achieve in the goals set for this matter.
“The battle of minds must be won, because the success of these projects depends on it. If Azorean fishers and our communities assume that these projects are in their interest, and if we are able to effectively demonstrate that this is the way, this battle will be won,” said Vasco Cordeiro.
The President of the Government spoke in Lisbon Saturday during a conference held under the "The Future of the Planet" Meeting. Promoted by the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, this initiative brought together about half a hundred speakers on climate change and the oceans for two days.
In his speech, the President of the Government defined three challenges that the Region faces in terms of management and preservation of the Sea, the first of which is its sustainability as the “cornerstone” for all interventions in this area.
“Another challenge concerns how the Autonomous Region of the Azores can have a closer and more direct intervention regarding the management and exploitation of the maritime space," stated Vasco Cordeiro. As he emphasised, the legacy of more than 40 years of policies adopted in the Region enables us to secure the advantages arising from this proximity management.
"This is why the provisions of the Basic Law on Maritime Space Management Basic Law should be amended. It is absolutely fundamental to reinforce the participation and intervention of the Azores in this matter," said the President of the Government.
At this conference, Vasco Cordeiro defined the process of extending the continental shelf as the third challenge that the Azores Sea faces in terms of the necessary conditions for Portugal to ensure what it “will do in this area, but also to ensure that certain things will not be done.”
"This is a challenge that we feel like ours, given the important role played by the Azores in this process," stated the President of the Government.
After noting that the size of the Azores Sea is equivalent to the area of Germany and France taken together, the President of the Azorean Government emphasised the importance of University of the Azores as a key element in the decisions that the Region's governing bodies - Government and Legislative Assembly - have taken over 40 years of Autonomy.
"Regarding the Sea, this legacy of more than 40 years of Autonomy is decisively based on the University of the Azores and on scientific knowledge, which is a fact that must be highlighted at this time," said Vasco Cordeiro. In this context, he noted that it was the Regional Autonomy established in 1976 that enabled the adoption of measures and policies that have proved to be fundamental in this area, always in dialogue and cooperation with the institutions representing fishers and their communities.
Moreover, the President of the Government highlighted the "Blue Azores" project, which stems from a partnership between the Regional Government, the Oceano Azul Foundation and the Waitt Foundation. According to him, it has managed to achieve a long-term strategy in our relation with the Sea, but also for "strengthening this relation in regional schools," through the "Educating for a Blue Generation" programme.
“The creation of marine protected areas in about 15 percent of the Azores Exclusive Economic Zone falls within a long-term strategy. This is the path we want and should follow towards the strategic future of our Region,” stated the President of the Government.
Furthermore, Vasco Cordeiro highlighted the establishment of the Atlantic Observatory on the island of Faial, following a partnership between the Regional and National Governments. It will consolidate the island's importance in these areas and open new possibilities for applying the knowledge of the sea in various fields, demonstrating to the society in general the benefits deriving from its protection and defence.
The President of the Government pointed out the project that has recently applied for EU support will outline how the Region will take action on climate change in a 10-year period, representing an investment of about 65 million Euros.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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