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Ponta Delgada ,  January 20, 2010

Wetlands explained at the University of the Azores

With the celebration of the World Wetlands Day on February 2, the growing importance of these ecosystems in the Azores, which was emphasised the by the celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity this year, and the need to raise the awareness for the services rendered by them, the Applied Vegetal Ecology Study Group (GEVA) of the University of the Azores has decided to organise a Workshop on the Azorean mires and their restoration. This initiative is supported by the Regional Secretariat for the Environment and the Sea.

This event aims to bring together some of the researchers in charge of the research areas of the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the University of the Azores that study this theme, Technicians in the Area of Environmental Management of the Government, Local Councils and the society in general to discuss, exchange and disseminate ideas.

At the presentation of this workshop, Eduardo Dias, head of GEVA and organiser of the event said that “we must explain in detail how these ecosystems and the services rendered by them because, as they have been always there, we may not acknowledge their value until is too late. Regarding the Azores, the availability of water and its quality, and the biodiversity levels are intimately linked to the existence of mires. We must preserve them and the first step is to know them and understand them.”

Recognizing that these ecosystems are still largely ignored, it was decided to combine an open Training Course on the Ecology and Characterisation of Mires with the workshop as a contribution to their promotion in the different sectors of activities related to the environment. This open course will start in the week before and it will also use the information to be provided during the workshop.

Furthermore, the workshop will provide an opportunity to launch the collection of books and reports published by the Herbarium of the University of the Azores, titled as “CADERNOS DE BOTÂNICA” (Botany Notebook), which contain several volumes related to the aforementioned theme.

There are 12 sites in the Azores classified by the Ramsar Convention given their importance for the preservation of wildlife in the Wetlands. The mires are the main habitat of some of these sites. For to the Regional director for the Environment, Frederico Cardigos, the fact that these sites “were classified by an International Convention is an additional responsibility; therefore, we must create assertive management rules, but compatible with the traditional use of natural heritage. The Regional Director added that “for many reasons, we need to recover some mires in the Azores and for that reason the information on the preservation of mires included in the workshop will be fundamental.”

By initiative of the Secretariat for the Environment and the Sea and the “Ecotecas” Network (Environmental Awareness Raising Centre), these activities will be carried out on all the islands of the archipelago. With this initiative, the Government intends to provide a deeper knowledge on the Ramsar areas and their central role in the development of the Azores.

For further information on the programme and registration, visit the Portal of the Government or the GEVA page at



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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