Integrating new territories in Natura 2000 (in this case, the expansion of the Douro International and Águeda Valley Special Protection Areas – DIVA SPA) is the recognition at national and European levels of the importance of their natural values. This amendment of the boundaries of DIVA SPA is, this way, an opportunity to value all the proposed area under the environmental policies of the European Union and for the corresponding promotion of its natural (and cultural) assets, both in terms of tourism and education, on a more global scale.
The adopted measures in Natura 2000 areas ensure the safeguard of important ecosystem services, both at environment level (e.g., climate change mitigation through habitat protection measures), as well as touristic, recreational and educational levels, contributing to the creation of jobs and also allowing mechanisms for a more effective collaboration between the relevant actors for the sustainable local development of the entire territory.
It is also essential to mention that the new proposed boundaries largely coincide with the boundaries of the national Protected Area of the International Douro Natural Park, which will ease the management of the entire territory.
The new proposed limits will ensure a better safeguard of protected species, many of them at risk of extinction, which find exceptional conditions for its conservation in this area.
The proposal also ensures the creation of important ecological corridors between areas of high natural value.
Through this enlargement, the growing importance of the border region of Trás-os-Montes and Beira Alta is recognized as an ex-libris for the conservation of national and European nature.
This way, it is LPN’s understanding that the covered region and municipalities only have to gain from the proposed expansion of the SPA DIVA.
Based on the above, the League for the Protection of Nature is fully in favor of the proposal to amend the DIVA SPA, currently under public consultation.
It is also considered key that, following this process, the necessary steps are taken by the competent authorities so that, as soon as possible, the amendment of the boundaries of this SPA can be effective, hoping that the same can happen with the process of the expansion of Tejo International, Erges and Pônsul, that has been under public consultation for over two years.
Lisbon, 3rd July 2020
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