At issue is, according to a statement released by the association, the tourist enterprise Reserva IDILUZ, in the municipality of Sesimbra, southwest of Aldeia do Meco. This is a project covering more than 83 hectares within the Special Conservation Zone (ZEC) Arrábida/Espichel, which provides for the construction of 112 housing units and support structures.
"The implementation of this project and the others will inevitably lead to a loss of the ecological value of the area, very substantial losses of ecosystem integrity and a loss of effectiveness of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area's Ecological Corridors Network and its implementation will constitute a flagrant violation of the correct management necessary for the ZEC Arrábida/Espichel".
The association questioned in particular the "behaviour" of the Institute for Nature and Forest Conservation and the Regional Coordination and Development Commission of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, "given the continuous presentation and subsequent approval of real estate-tourism projects with direct allocation in sensitive habitats”, considering that “environmental authorities have shown themselves to be condescending to the destruction of natural values”.
Stating that the "Natura 2000 Network is again under threat", Zero considered that there is "a clear influence of economic agents with political power, clearly favouring private interests".
"The eventual approval of this undertaking is once again a demonstration of the incapacity and permissiveness of the public authorities to enforce the Portuguese State's obligations in terms of land use planning with a view to safeguarding the conservation of classified spaces and the natural values present", stated the association, which announced a new complaint to the European Commission.
"ZERO has already filed a complaint with the European Commission addressing the impairment of the integrity of ZEC Arrábida/Espichel in relation to the already approved projects of 'Pinhal do Atlântico' and 'Aldeamento Turístico do Pinhal da Prata' and will proceed with an update of the complaint together of the aforementioned entity due to the increased risks arising from the intention to install the recently approved 'ETOSOTO Cabo Espichel Eco-hotel' project and the present 'Allotment Operation of the Reserva IDILUZ tourist development', which is still awaiting approval”.