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Ponta Delgada ,  August 05, 2015

Clarification from the Regional Secretariat for Agriculture and the Environment

Following a statement released in the Media defending the closer of the access to Pico Pequeno (or Piquinho) on Pico Mountain, the Regional Secretariat for Agriculture and the Environment wishes to clarify the following:
1. The preservation of natural values in the Natural Reserve of Pico Mountain is safeguarded by the legal framework in force, namely the Regional Legislative Decree no.20/2008/A of July 9, which defines the prohibited and conditioned activities on Pico Mountain, and the Ordinance no.44/2012 of April 11, which establishes the regulations on the access to the mountain, the control mechanisms for visitors and the behaviour rules;
2. Thus, the access to Pico Mountain can only be made through the "PR4 PIC - Mountain" trail and requires prior authorisation (admission tickets), being limited to a maximum of 160 visitors at the same time;
3. The access to Pico Pequeno is restricted to 40 visitors at the same time and the period of visit is limited to a maximum of 30 minutes;
4. The impact of visitors on Pico Mountain cannot be overlooked, but the pressure - which is monitored - is far from being unsustainable: the total of 8,802 visitors recorded in 2014 corresponds to a daily average of 24 visitors, however not all of them climbed to Pico Pequeno;
5. With regard to Mount Teide, located on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, the access to the mountain is open, contrary to what was reported, with a daily limit of 200 visitors and a total of 61,643 authorised visitors in 2014, i.e., seven times more than those who visited the Pico Mountain;
6. This year, a total of 4,409 visitors climbed the Pico Mountain from January 1 to July 31 (it should be mentioned that not all visitors climbed to Pico Pequeno), while a total of 41,257 visits were authorised to Mount Teide;
7. Moreover, the Government has provided certified guides to accompany visitors and promotes the adequate training of guides, such as the training course for Natural Park Guides and Pico Mountain Guides;
8. In this context, the Government of the Azores considers that are no reasons to justify the adoption of measures to restrict the access of visitors to the mountain and their possibility to enjoy the landscape, ecological and geological values of Pico Mountain. It is important to ensure the adequate management and promotion of natural resources and cultural values as well as to regulate the interventions that might jeopardise them in order to guarantee the controlled access to the mountain and the safety of visitors, as it currently happens.



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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