The Bloco de Esquerda (BE) asked the Government, in a memo that The Portugal News had access to, about the fulfilment of the Parliamentary Resolution No. 106/2018 – which recommends that the Government safeguards the seasonal freshwater wetland of Alagoas Brancas, in Lagoa.
BE also claims that the Government should prevent the destruction of Alagoas Brancas, adopting necessary measures to safeguard that area, which is in dangerous due to the planned construction of another supermarket. This building may have a serious impact on this environment in terms of preserving protected species, but also in terms of floods.
According to the statement sent to The Portugal News, the Bloco de Esquerda party said: “Urbanity interests can’t exceed the higher values of this important natural area”.
During the winter months, the Alagoas Brancas area is often flooded, becoming an important area of food, rest and breeding for a vartiety of bird species, some of which are threatened with extinction. Beyond the birds, in this habit there are important populations of Mediterranean turtles, rela-meridional, as well as an unusual plant in Portugal - Crypsis aculeata - and several species of crustaceans, butterflies and dragonflies, all with conservation value.
Additionally, Lagoas Brancas creates a sponge effect for the excess of rainwater. For this reason, if Alagoas Brancas disappears “it will cause a high probability of flooding in the urban area”, according to the statement, and that the “rainwater would drain into lower-lying areas and be directed to the unique aqueduct in the area. The aqueduct would receive all the water from Alagoas Brancas and from the surrounding high areas, making it impossible to drain the entire volume of water on days of intense precipitation, causing floods in that area”
Alagoas Brancas has attractedlots of ornithologists who study and observe this wetland, which has already led to the identification of more than 70 species of birds that are identified in the decree-law n.º 49/2005 on the preservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora
In 2019, the study “Valorization of the Wetlands of the Algarve”, promoted by Almargem - Association for the Defence of the Cultural and Environmental Heritage of the Algarve-, concluded that “in view of the singularity of the species present in the area [Alagoas Brancas], the creation of a protection statute is essential and indispensable for the conservation and management of the area”. As a result, it recommends the classification of Alagoas Brancas as a Protected Area of Local Scope.
Additionally, the study notes that “in view of the singularity of the species present in the area [Alagoas Brancas], the creation of a protection statute is essential and indispensable for the conservation and management of the area”.
According to the Bloco de Esquerda party: “Despite the natural values and direct benefits that the Alagoas Brancas provide to the population of the region”, such as flood prevention, the urban development in the area has already been allowed in some cases.