155 ME measures to create dynamics for people to settle in Serra da Estrela

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The Serra da Estrela Natural Park Revitalization Program, with an allocation of 155 million euros (ME), recommends measures to create dynamics to attract and retain people in the region affected by the fires in the summer of 2022.

The document, approved by the Council of Ministers on February 8, was published last week in the Diário da República, a year and a half after the region’s mayors asked the government for support in the face of the damage caused by the fires.

The planned measures cover the 15 municipalities of the Intermunicipal Community of Beiras and Serra da Estrela (CIMBSE), based in Guarda, which is responsible for implementing the program over the next four years.

The document defines deadlines for each of the investments and projects mentioned.

The measures are divided into four areas: people, social innovation, demography and housing; the economy, competitiveness and internationalization; the environment, civil protection, forestry, agriculture and planning; and culture, tourism and territorial marketing.

The decree stresses that depopulation and population ageing are a fundamental problem affecting the Beiras and Serra da Estrela region and that in order to mitigate and reverse this trend it is necessary to create dynamics to attract and retain the population.

It is said that the Beiras and Serra da Estrela territory faces a “complex context for attracting investment” and that the severity of the 2022 fires in the Serra da Estrela has “highlighted the importance of planning and ordering the territory”.

Among the various projects listed are the construction of the Cortes Dam, the drafting of the Senhora Assedasse Dam project, the drafting of the Detailed Plan for the Torre specific intervention area and the construction of the new Manteigas fire station.

Also the creation of the Gonçalo Basketry Museum, the upgrading of infrastructure and equipment at Lagoa Comprida, the heritage and landscape upgrading of Sra. Desterro and the urban upgrading of Sabugueiro.

Mention is made of the creation of a new generation business reception area at the Serra da Estrela Aerodrome in Seia, the project to develop the Guarda Dry Port and a Competence Center for the cheese industry.

In terms of accessibility, it includes the upgrading of the Verdelhos (Covilhã) – Poço do Inferno (Manteigas) greenway, the IC6 greenway project: Covilhã – Pedras Lavradas section, the upgrading and paving of the forestry road between Videmonte (Guarda) and which connects to Linhares da Beira (Celorico da Beira) and Senhora da Assedasse (Folgosinho, Gouveia) until it enters the municipality of Manteigas.

Other plans include the creation of the Penhas Douradas Climate Change Observatory, the creation of a monitored circular scientific trail in the Penhas Douradas, the study of the PNSE’s water resources, a program to encourage pastoralism and a network of eco-sustainable river beaches in the Serra.

CIMBSE includes the municipalities of Almeida, Celorico da Beira, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Fornos de Algodres, Gouveia, Guarda, Manteigas, Mêda, Pinhel, Sabugal, Seia and Trancoso, in the district of Guarda, and Belmonte, Covilhã and Fundão, in the district of Castelo Branco.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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