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Angra do Heroísmo ,  April 13, 2018

Regional Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development discussed changes to 12 protected areas

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism has presented proposals concerning 12 protected areas to be discussed at the Regional Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development (CRADS), generating a broad consensus. The initiative follows the study and monitoring works that have been carried out due to the increase of the growing demand for the environmental heritage of the Azores.
Marta Guerreiro spoke to journalists in Angra do Heroísmo at the end of the extraordinary meeting of CRADS held last Thursday. She stressed the importance of hearing partners on the "proposals that should be shared and jointly discussed" in order to find the solutions that "best serve each area." In this context, we should also take into consideration the levels of demand of visitors to the archipelago due to the Region's natural heritage.
"We monitor and revise regulations on a regular basis," Marta Guerreiro said, adding that the proposals discussed "range from the introduction or revision of fees and the establishment of an acceptable visitor load or the implementation of rules on the access to some areas, namely the conditions for the use of vehicles."
These proposals cover six natural reserves, three natural monuments, two protected areas for habitat and species management and a protected landscape area. They "represent, depending on the specificity of the situation, changes to existing regulations or the implementation of rules or constraints where they are non-existent," said the government official.
The Secretary for the Environment stated that each situation has to be regarded in an "isolated manner" and that, "depending on the pressure, there will be access restrictions with temporary or daily limitations and, in some cases, with the introduction or revision of fees."
"Whenever necessary, we also have to take action in terms of infrastructures and that is what we have been doing," Marta Guerreiro said, adding that the "proposals for interventions already planned have been discussed as well as others to be developed."
The 12 protected areas are as follows: Pico Mountain, Caldeira do Faial, Lagoa do Fogo crater lake, Caldeira de Santa Bárbara, Praia Islet, Pico da Vara Mountain, Caldeira Velha, Furnas do Enxofre, Capelinhos Volcano, Vila Franca do Campo Islet and Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo.
While participating in this meeting, Marta Guerreiro stressed that the "Programme of the Government specifically provides for the identification and assessment of the capacity and pressure of visitors on sensitive areas within the Azores Natural Parks with a view to improving their regulation in terms of environmental and landscape protection."


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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