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Horta ,  April 17, 2018

National Meeting of Nature Watchers to take place in the Azores in 2019

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism revealed in Horta that the National Meeting of Nature Watchers will take place on the island of Terceira in early 2019, being held in parallel with the regional meeting.
"This will be another moment to highlight the environmental characteristics of the whole archipelago in a national context, which, once again, shows the importance and the weight of the Azores regarding their territory," said Marta Guerreiro. She spoke at the opening session of the 4th Meeting of Nature Watchers of the Azores.
The Secretary for the Environment highlighted the "fundamental" role of Nature Watchers who, "face, on a daily basis, the new problems and challenges that the management and conservation of nature and the preservation of environmental quality impose on us."
"The investment in environmental quality and the sustainable use of natural resources fall within the Regional Government's strategic priorities, through the conservation of nature that is mostly carried out by Nature Watchers," stressed the government official.
Marta Guerreiro pointed out that they are at the "forefront in the detection and resolution of environmental problems," while being responsible for organising "educational and awareness-raising activities in schools and providing information on protected areas."
From today, all Nature Watchers will have "mobile equipment (similar to a smartphone) fitted with specific features for operating in a natural environment," announced the government official. This will "eliminate all survey forms, technical reports and official reports as they are now being developed through a digital application that allows them to be filled in offline."
Besides this investment, the Regional Secretary stressed the "implementation of the integrated communications system for Environmental Services," which will be installed in three phases.
The first phase will cover the islands of Faial, Pico and São Jorge, while the second phase covers São Miguel in the month September. In turn, the third phase, scheduled for January 2019, will reach the remaining islands of the archipelago.
"With this system, it is possible to increase the operational capacity of Nature Watchers as well as of most services of the Regional Directorate for the Environment, covering the entire land territory of the archipelago," said the Regional Secretary.
Currently, the body of Nature Watchers is composed of 34 members. The procedures for the admission of another Nature Watcher for Flores and five for São Miguel are in the final stages.
"After the process is concluded, we will have a significant increase of 25% in terms of personnel," said Marta Guerreiro. In this regard, she added that the "recruitment plan for 2018 include another procedure for the admission of four more Nature Watchers," two for Terceira, one for São Jorge and another for Pico.
"The Regional Government takes a clear position to reinforce the body of Nature Watchers as well as to investment in their training and the provision of equipment," said Marta Guerreiro. She also pointed out the recent changes to their uniforms as and the acquisition of electric vehicles for each Island Natural Park.
"In light of what we have been doing over the last two weeks, firstly on Pico and then on Terceira, we deliver today the seventh electric vehicle to Faial Natural Park. They are expected to reach all islands by the end of this year; Graciosa and Corvo will follow next," said the government official.


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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