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Horta ,  January 31, 2020

Regional Government marks World Wetlands Day on all islands

The Regional Secretariat for Energy, Environment and Tourism, through the Regional Directorate for the Environment, will carry out various environmental awareness and education activities on all islands under the celebrations of the World Wetlands Day to be marked on February 2. This year will be dedicated to the theme "Biodiversity and Wetlands."

Promoted by the educational services of regional Natural Parks, these actions include field trips to observe these places and the planting of endemic species, among other initiatives.
On Saturday, February 1, the island of Faial holds the “Canyoning in the Park” activity, which consists of descending gorges following the course of a stream. It aims to involve participants in the local biodiversity and geodiversity.

On the same day, the “RAMSAR Walk” takes place on the island of Terceira, with an interpretive tour to the Furnas do Enxofre (Sulphur Cave), a site classified as Natural Monument that is part of the "Central Plateau of Terceira" Ramsar site.

On February 2, there will be a lecture on the importance of wetlands and the preservation of these habitats under the theme “Caldeirão - a Ramsar Site” at the Wild Birds Interpretation Centre on the island of Corvo.

Also, on Sunday, “A Walk through Wetlands” takes place on the island of Flores, through a hiking trail, to observe the Lagoa Funda lake, during which several explanations will be given on the importance of preserving water resources.

On this day, various activities also take place on the island of Pico, with the planting of endemic species, and on the island of São Jorge, with the hiking trail "Through the eyes of a Nature Watcher," where the characteristics of the protected area to visit will be explained.

As it coincides with the National Day of Nature Watchers, various scheduled actions will be promoted by these professionals, who will highlight their mission in the monitoring and surveillance of the Network of Protected Areas of the Azores.

Still on the island of São Jorge, there is a scheduled field trip to Fajã dos Cubres on February 3, which will address the local fauna and flora, with special emphasis on the wetland.

From Monday until February 28, several field trips will take place on the island of Graciosa with the aim of collecting and analysing water samples from different sources, such as tap water, tank fountains, wells and Furna da Água cave under the theme “Water Reserves.”

Besides these trips, aimed at local Free Time Occupation Centres, a guided tour to Furna do Enxofre and the organisation of another activity designated as "Azores Wetlands Gameboard," through the School Park programme,” are some of the events scheduled for next week.

On São Miguel, there will be a walk from the Park Shop to the Sete Cidades Tunnel to observe the local biodiversity of the Sete Cidades Volcanic Complex Ramsar Site.

On February 8, the “Adventures and Discoveries” activity will take place on the island of Santa Maria in Pico Alto, through a hiking trail to the highest point of the island planned for families with the goal of promoting the observation of local biodiversity and geodiversity.

In the Azores, 13 Wetlands of International Importance were officially designated by the Ramsar Convention: Caldeirão do Corvo (Corvo Island); Central Plateau of Flores (Morro Alto - Flores Island); Caldeira do Faial (Faial Island); Central Plateau of Pico (Achada - Pico Island); Central Plateau of São Jorge (Pico da Esperança - São Jorge Island); Fajãs of Santo Cristo and Cubres lakes (São Jorge Island); Caldeira da Graciosa (Furna do Enxofre - Graciosa Island); Central Plateau of Terceira (Furnas do Enxofre and Algar do Carvão ) and Praia da Vitória Marsh (Terceira Island); Furnas Volcanic Complex, Sete Cidades Volcanic Complex and Fogo Volcanic Complex (São Miguel Island), Formigas Islet and Dollabarat Reef (Santa Maria Island). Overall, they occupy an area of approximately 13 thousand hectares.

All these sites, with the exception of Praia da Vitória Marsh, are part of the Network of Protected Areas of the Azores and are managed by the Regional Directorate for the Environment, through the Island Natural Parks.

The World Wetlands Day emerged from the Convention on Wetlands, generally known as the Ramsar Convention, as it was adopted on February 2, 1971 in this Iranian city. It intends to promote international cooperation and encourage the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.

Portugal ratified the Convention in 1980 and has 31 Wetlands of International Importance classified under this treaty (Ramsar sites), including those located in the archipelago of the Azores.

Wetlands provide several ecosystem services, namely the supply of aquifers and the filtering of water resources, the prevention of climate phenomena, both floods and droughts, as well as resources of high economic, scientific, cultural and recreational value in terms of biodiversity, geodiversity and landscape.

The actions directly promoted by the Regional Directorate for the Environment and developed by the Island Natural Parks also involve the participation of various entities, such as municipalities, schools and non-governmental organisations, covering a vast school public and the communities.

To learn more about the Azores Wetlands and the calendar of events, those who are interested may consult the official portal of the Ramsar Convention at as well as the various portals of the Regional Directorate for the Environment at http: //; andÁreas+RAMSAR/.


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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