The Salinas de Alverca and the Salinas do Forte da Casa are located on the north bank of the Tagus Estuary and are the only refuge for avifauna on this entire river bank. The surrounding area contrasts with the highly urbanized and industrialized area of Alverca, the Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve (RNET) and the Portuguese Air Force installations.
Faced with the strong pressures to which this wetland was subjected, such as the construction of various infrastructures, urbanization, industrial and domestic pollution, disturbance, settlement and abandonment/reduction of land management, LPN quickly became involved in the effort for public recognition of its ecological importance and the need for classification, with a view to safeguarding it.
In the 1990s, together with ADAPA (Association for the Defense of the Environment and Heritage of the Municipality of Vila Franca de Xira), it developed preliminary studies that attested to the high conservation value of this area and, even at the end of the millennium, actively intervened for the reversal of the decision of disaffection of the area integrated in the National Ecological Reserve. He even presented to the Supreme Administrative Court an appeal for the annulment of the decision of the Council of Ministers that materialized this disaffection, which would be rejected by the court in 2003 with the administrative argument that the act of disaffection was not appealable...
After two decades of these various efforts and seven years since the approval of a motion in the Municipal Assembly of Vila Franca de Xira, unanimously, for the creation of a local nature reserve, and maintaining the strong threats to the preservation of this wetland, LPN now joins ANP|WWF, FAPAS, GEOTA, Quercus, SPEA and Friends of the Forte, to, in the form of a collective petition, propose to the Municipal Assembly and City Council of Vila Franca de Xira the approval of an action plan for the effective establishment, by September 1, 2022, of the Local Nature Reserve of the Salt Pans of Alverca do Ribatejo - Forte da Casa.
This classification, which, being of local scope, can be made by the Municipality, will grant the Salinas de Alverca and the Salinas do Forte da Casa a legal status of protection appropriate to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as landscape enhancement. The integration in the National Network of Protected Areas will thus allow the much needed application of specific conservation and management measures, in order to promote the rational management of its natural resources and the enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage of this area, regulating the artificial interventions that may degrade it.
See the Petition for the creation of the Local Natural Reserve of Salinas de Alverca - Forte da Casa, here (PT).
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