Crucial Portuguese wetland gets last minute reprieve from developers10/01/2013 23:14:12
Lagoa dos Salgados development halted, for now
January 2013. An on-line petition that has gathered 21,000 international signatures has stopped a mega-tourist complex from destroying a unique wetland bird sanctuary in southern Portugal. The bird sanctuary, Lagoa dos Salgados, has been given a last minute reprieve while an Environmental Impact Assessment is carried out.
Despite this unique coastal lagoon being of prime importance to many breeding, over-wintering or passage species and despite being internationally recognised as a bird watching hotspot that brings in many hundreds of thousands of tourist dollars every year - as well as being a study area for schools and universities throughout Europe - it has never had any official protection, and has been threatened with development throughout the last 15 years.
Huge hotel complex
This was enough to galvanize local feeling and an on-line petition was started by a local bird watching guide, Frank McClintock, to provide a voice for those opposed to the plan and to highlight the continuing lack of any protection for the lagoon's unique habitat.
The response was immediate; within hours there had been a radical U-turn, with the Government announcing that no building would be allowed before an official Environmental Impact Assessment had taken place and its findings implemented.
Sign the petition
There has been an on-line petition set up to persuade the Government to change its mind, rescind the permission and grant SPA status in order to preserve this habitat for future generations. You are urged to sign it here and to share it on Facebook and Twitter.
Flamingos frequent Salgados.