A public consultation session was held on April 21, in the Noble Room of Baiao City Hall, on the classification of Serra da Aboboreira as a Regional Protected Landscape.
Present were the Mayor of Baião, Paulo Pereira, the Mayor of Amarante, José Luís Gaspar, the Mayor of Marco de Canaveses, Cristina Vieira, also in the capacity of Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Municipalities do Baixo Tâmega (AMBT), Ricardo Magalhães, Secretary General of the AMBT, several parish council presidents and representatives of entities from the three municipalities linked to the environment, agriculture, forestry and tourism, who expressed their opinions regarding this classification process.
Three specialist technicians involved in the diagnosis and characterization studies of the area were invited to intervene, namely Miguel Portugal, from the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF), who spoke about the role of protected areas in Portugal, Joaquim Alonso, from the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, who did the geographical and environmental contextualization of the Serra da Aboboreira and the neighboring ecosystems and João Honrado, from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, who presented the characterization of the Serra da Aboboreira and the values that it presents and justify this classification, mainly in terms of natural habitats, bio and geodiversity and archaeological heritage.
GOOD RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE THREE MUNICIPALITIES AND AMBT SUPPORT IS ESSENTIAL
Paulo Pereira welcomed those present and said it was “a great pleasure and a very happy moment to be here at this event. It would have been desirable that it had happened already last year, but due to various contingencies, namely linked to the pandemic, this was not possible.
Serra da Aboboreira is an element that unites the three municipalities and in good time AMBT seized this opportunity.
This mountain of ours has enormous potential and it is up to us, mayors, to enhance its environmental, cultural, scenic and economic value, also putting it at the service of our populations and the economic dynamism of an entire territory.
The three municipalities are imbued with this collective awareness of environmental preservation and AMBT has been a unifying element in this sense.
The most direct stakeholders are present here and it is important that everyone participates in this process of public discussion, which we want to be productive, clarifying and transparent.
I hope, therefore, that all Aboboreira ‘owners’, locals or just visitors, get involved in this process, so that this classification is as appropriate as possible to what we need and so that this territory has an even greater value.”
Ricardo Magalhães, Secretary General of AMBT presented the proposal for planning and management, aiming at this classification and which he considered to be “a very rewarding work, but due to its complexity it has been a lengthy process. We hope that now we can reach this level that our region so deserves.
The most appropriate classification for Serra da Aboboreira is Regional Protected Landscape, because it allows a harmonious interaction between human beings and nature. This area is also intended to be a continuation of the Marão-Alvão Natural Park.”
The director of the Association of Municipalities also urged the participation of all citizens and entities, since “it is crucial that the largest number of people participate in the public discussion, since the more people participate, the more comprehensive and clarifying this process will be. ”
Finally, Cristina Vieira, in her capacity as Chairman of the Board of Directors of AMBT, said that “this consultation that we carried out here today was very important and we should all look carefully at the documents and try to make our contribution during the period of public discussion.
The interventions of the technicians were relevant, as they allowed us to see this mountain of ours with different eyes, which is a territory with unique contexts.
What we want is to qualify the territory with innovation and I hope that this project can move forward. Political power is committed and we will do what is necessary to promote and further develop this protected area.
We count on everyone and on your contributions.”
THE CLASSIFICATION PROCESS
After a long work to characterize the natural and cultural heritage of Serra da Aboboreira, the Association of Municipalities of Baixo Tâmega presented a proposal for classifying this mountain as a Regional Protected Landscape.
In accordance with the Legal Regime for the Conservation of Nature and Biodiversity, inland terrestrial and aquatic areas where biodiversity or other natural occurrences that, due to their rarity, scientific, ecological, social or scenic value, have a special relevance that require measures conservation areas, can be classified as protected areas.
Serra da Aboboreira, shared by the municipalities of Amarante, Baião and Marco de Canaveses, presents exceptional conditions that justify the creation of a Regional Protected Landscape.
All documents related to this classification will be available on the participa.pt website, in the three municipalities covered by Serra da Aboboreira and in the AMBT and can be consulted by all citizens.
Any interested party may submit observations and suggestions on any issues that may be considered within the scope of the respective classification process, during the 30 working days that will start on the 10th working day after the publication of the notice, that is, from the 9th of May.