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Pico ,  December 10, 2018

Regional Government implements "pioneering document" in landscape policies, says Marta Guerreiro

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism stated on Pico that the Regional Government published today a "pioneering document" regarding the territorial policies in the scope of landscape protection and management in the Azores.
Marta Guerreiro spoke at the presentation of quality goals and guidelines for the Management of the Azores Landscape, which have been drawn up in a Resolution from the Council of the Government now published in the Official Journal.
"We have promoted this action because we recognise landscape as an essential component of the human environment of the Azores," said the government official. "If, until now, the strategic framework of landscape policy in the Azores has been based on territorial management tools and nature conservation schemes, it was important to take this step further."
The Secretary for the Environment pointed out that the characterisation and identification of the Landscapes of the Azores is carried out through the document now published, adding that "82 landscape units, 47 unique elements and 207 panoramic sited have been identified." This work began in 2000 and resulted in the book "Paisagens dos Açores – Contributos para a Identificação e Caraterização das Paisagens dos Açores" (Landscapes of the Azores - Contribution for the Identification and Characterisation of Landscapes in the Azores), published in 2005.
In addition to landscape characterisation, the document also defines quality targets and management guidelines for "a diversified, balanced and harmonious landscape in terms of use and functions with a higher level of awareness of its importance as a public resource," added Marta Guerreiro.
"This Resolution will increase and streamline procedures and mechanisms for the participation of citizens, public entities and other players in the definition, implementation and monitoring of public landscape policies in the Azores. Simultaneously, it will create the conditions for municipalities to adapt the strategies and guidelines defined at regional level to their local reality and to adopt appropriate specific measures, namely those concerning the preparation and implementation of municipal or intermunicipal territorial management plans," said the government official.
In this context, the Territorial Management Portal will now become part of the Information and Management Support System for the Azores Landscape Management from today.
Marta Guerreiro also revealed that the Regional Government submitted the application of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture Landscape to the 2018 National Landscape Award. Promoted by the Ministry of the Environment, this initiative aims to disseminate good practices and the selection of the project that will represent Portugal in the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe.
According to the Regional Secretary, this application was only possible due to the "vast array of policies and measures implemented by the Regional Government" over the last few years. They are intended "to revive and consolidate a living vineyard landscape with unique characteristics and a growing economic relevance and social cohesion."
The government official highlighted the rehabilitation of the building heritage, pointing out several examples on Pico, such as the Wine Museum, the headquarters of the Natural Park and the Technical Office, the Vineyard Landscape Interpretation Centre or the House of Volcanoes," whose work is at an advance stage and is expected to enter into operation in a few months."
Marta Guerreiro emphasised that "the incentive systems for the maintenance of traditional vineyard landscapes in "currais" (small stone enclosures) have completely transformed a dying landscape," corresponding to an area of 412 hectares as of November 2017. According to her, "this represents a very significant evolution, compared to the 120 hectares in 2004."
"Since 2004, the number of beneficiaries of support for the maintenance of traditional vineyards in "currais" has increased from 72 to 279. In turn, the annual amount of financial support increased ninefold, from around 94 thousand euros to more than 875 thousand Euros," the Regional Secretary said, adding that this amount is estimated to reach one million Euros next year.


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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