Portuguese wetland to receive protected status


An Algarve wetland is set to be protected following two decades of lobbying from locals.

The ICNF (Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests) in Portugal has confirmed that Lagoa dos Salgados will receive protected status. From 7 December, a period of public consultation will gauge people’s opinions on the proposal to classify the lagoon as a nationally protected natural reserve.

Greater Flamingo is one of many wetland species found at Lagoa dos Salgados (Neil Loverock).

The fight to protect the site goes back to the early 2000s when Silves municipality earmarked its only stretch of Algarve coastline for mass-development involving various hotels, hundreds of residential properties and an 18-hole golf course. At the time, the ICNF refused all entreaties to protect Lagoa dos Salgados.

Anabela Santos of non-profit Almargem has responded to ICNF's news, saying "this is an historic day". Almargem has been another key player in the battle to protect Lagoa dos Salgados which brought together a platform of NGOs and activists.