“Proposals were submitted for 97 areas of this type – AIGP – and 47 showed conditions to proceed, covering 94,243 hectares and 26 municipalities”, indicated the minister of Environment and Climate Action, João Matos Fernandes
The contracts for founding of the 47 AIGP was signed on Monday, at a ceremony in Pampilhosa da Serra, district of Coimbra. “There were 33 of these areas submitted by local authorities and 14 by organisations of agricultural or forestry producers”, he informed. Emphasising the need to act as a team, João Matos Fernandes recalled the Landscape Transformation Program as “a fundamental instrument for an integrated and structured intervention in forest territories with specific vulnerabilities to fire.
Accused by PSD deputy João Moura of “ideological radicalism” against eucalyptus, minister João Matos Fernandes defended that “the production forest is not synonymous with eucalyptus” and said that the policy of the Social Democrats when they were in Government went through “ plant eucalyptus from Melgaço to Vila Real de Santo António, without forgetting the Berlengas”. "I have never heard anyone defending the massive planting of eucalyptus in monoculture, without any interruption, creating in fact a pasture for forest fires in a Mediterranean climate as your Excellency has done now", pointed out the government official, considering the intervention of the PSD deputy "absolutely incendiary ”. “No one will ever comply in Portugal [this proposal], even when on the day of the day, the gentlemen [PSD] return to being the Government”, he added.
Asked by PS deputy Ana Passos about the Program for Reorganization and Landscape Management of the Serras de Monchique and Silves, João Matos Fernandes said: “Silves presented three applications to AGIP, Monchique presented zero, none. This is factual, I am not saying it well, nor am I saying it bad. There were those who knew how to take advantage of the excellent opportunity that was created and there were those who didn't”.
On the possibility of triggering possible support in the forest area as a result of the fire that occurred in Monchique last weekend, the Minister of Environment informed that work is already being done with the municipality to find a way to combat desertification, through the 10 million euros available in REACT, “for the case of burned wood that has not been cut, it is possible to replace the existing plantations, obviously cutting the burned wood that is still present there”. Within the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), the forest has a total of 615 million euros, with the main measures, until 2025, the constitution of 60 AIGP, worth three million euros each, and the execution of the respective 60 integrated landscape management operations, with an investment of around 220 million euros.