Minister advocates consensus to replicate Algarve’s marine protected area

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The Minister for the Environment and Climate Action today defended the need for a strong consensus if the process that led to the creation of the new marine protected area in the Algarve is to be replicated.

“It’s important to have everyone in the same boat to keep commitments for the future and to be able to replicate this process,” said Duarte Cordeiro.

The minister was speaking at a session on the Algarve Reef Marine Natural Park – Pedra do Valado, which took place in the Portuguese Pavilion at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) and brought together representatives of various stakeholders in the process.

Approved two weeks ago, two and a half years after it was proposed, it is the first marine protected area created in Portugal in more than two decades and a step towards the government’s goal of creating 30% marine protected areas by 2026.

“It’s a huge task,” stressed Duarte Cordeiro, adding that if it was possible in the Algarve, in an area with a strong tourist footprint, “it’s possible almost anywhere.”

It’s not the first time that Pedra do Velado has been mentioned by Portugal at COP28 and, over the course of several days, it was highlighted by various government officials who attended the summit, including the Prime Minister, as one of the examples of the preservation of marine biodiversity that the country wants to pass on to other countries.

In the same debate, promoted by the Oceano Azul Foundation and the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests, one of the researchers responsible also stressed the importance of this marine protected area of community interest in the context of combating climate change.

“This is one of the only marine prairies in the country and now it’s going to be protected,” said Jorge Gonçalves, a researcher at the University of the Algarve’s Marine Sciences Center, recalling the role of these ecosystems in capturing and storing carbon dioxide.

“Now we have the start of a new process,” added the mayor of Silves, Rosa Palma, considering that the challenge now is to ensure the preservation of that area, an even greater responsibility.

COP28 began on November 30 and is taking place until November 12 in Dubai. Today, the thematic program was dedicated to nature and the oceans.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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