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Lagos - Dona Ana beach has not been adversely affected, according to minister

donaanaThe Environment Minister said today that Dona Ana beach in Lagos 'has not been affected' by recent works.

Jorge Moreira da Silva visited what once was named as ‘Portugal’s finest beach’ and said that the recent alterations had been "decisive and sensible."

The environment minister said that the artificial dumping of dredged sand at Dona Ana beach has not detracted from the beach’s beauty and that the safety of bathers had been enhanced.

"Visiting the beach and not just commenting from Lisbon without knowing the reality, I have concluded that this intervention has been decisive and sensible," said Moreira da Silva.

The €1.8 million project included the artificial dumping of 140 thousand cubic metres of sand and the tearing down of cliffs that showed any sign of instability.

Environmental groups and local protestors have been insistent that the beach should have stayed as it was and that no environmental impact assessment has been done to show the probable impact on the sea bed and its marine life.

"Several people have been saying that we are destroying one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but what is at stake here is two main principles: the safety of people and property, and the enhancement of the beach and to preserve this heritage," said the minister after the first part of his Algarve visit this morning.

According to the minister, "We cannot sacrifice the security of people, just because we want to keep intact a certain landscape.”

The minister failed to mention the six floor Edificio Montana, (see below) illegally built within the Maritime Domain on the cliff above the beach nor when it would be torn down under the same laws being used to justify the destruction of the houses on the Ria Formosa islands.
 
Jorge Moreira da Silva started his tour with visits to various sea defence and beach works 'to enhance the Alentejo and Algarve coastline,' and will end the day at a lively meeting in Faro with the Committee for Coordination and Development of the Algarve to discuss the stalled property demolitions in the Ria Formosa area - and what a mess he made of that - see:

http://www.algarvedailynews.com/news/5627-ria-formosa-demolitions-must-go-on-says-intransigent-minister

Eco-organisation Almargem issued a statement following the Minister’s visit to Dona Ana beach:

 

  "The Almargem Association welcomes the fact that the Minister of Environment, Jorge Moreira da Silva, yesterday visited the ongoing works at Dona Ana beach. Such an visit/attitude only shows the gravity of what is at stake in this beach for Lagos municipality .

Moreira da Silva said, quite rightly, that the safety of people and the preservation of the landscape should be the two essential principles to be reconciled. But will the ongoing interventions in the Algarve coast, with the filling of beaches with sand and the consequences of burial of key scenic landmarks, be included in this consensual view?

Almargem reminds the Minister of the case of Praia da Rocha, which went further than preserving the safety of swimmers with disproportionate filling the beach, as the landscape was forever destroyed with the disappearance of monumental rocks and arches that earned the beach its name popularity.

At Dona Ana Beach the same is about to happen because many rocks will eventually be buried as the landscape is changed beyond imagination.

The solution proposed by Almargem, which apparently did not merit a response from Moreira da Silva, is to place a deterrent fence along the beach formed by simple stakes and rope showing the risky areas below the cliffs.

In the case of Dona Ana Beach this would drastically reduce the capacity of the beach, but only in this way would the safety of people be guarantees and the local landscape preserved.

For Almargem it is clear that Moreira da Silva ‘forgot’ to talk about his third essential principle - to protect at all costs the interests of the mass tourism industry, ensuring space on the beaches for holidaymakers who are there due to the uncontrolled building policies and the invasion of the coastline that has happened along the Dona Ana Beach clifftop and many other areas of the Algarve coast.
This is what is really behind the work paid for by the Government, however sensible and conciliatory the statements of the perpetrators.

On the other hand, it is good to remember that a large proportion of accidents that have happened in recent years, in our cliffs, concerns tourists and others who have fallen there because they are not on the beach but for having come too to steep cliff.

In the case of Dona Ana Beach and Ponta da Piedade, some of the major tourist activities are walking along the cliff tops and boating in the shadow of the cliffs and going into underwater caves.

What will the Government do to ensure the safety of people in these cases: prohibit access to cliffs and prohibit boating?

The cliffs are of course risk areas and there should be interventions and awareness campaigns that allow sensible use of the cliff tops and the underlying beaches. But before everything else, any kind of heavy construction near the clifftop should be banned or, if necessary, demolished. At Dona Ana Beach as this is a key factor in the cliffs’ destabilisation.

As the Almargem Association has also pointed out, interventions at beaches is a case by case process. Given the international reputation of Dona Ana beach, no one can doubt that the most appropriate would be have a public discussion of the action plan in order really to meet a consensual solution.

The Government did not want that to happen and thus what is going on today at Dona Ana Beach is a crime against the world heritage and against the credibility of Portugal and the Algarve as a sustainable tourist destination. Unfortunately this already is under question by well respected foreign media, such as the recent report in Courrier International."

The Directorate
Almargem Association
R. de S. Domingos, 65 - 8100-536 Loulé
Tel. 289412959
Fax 289414104
www.almargem.org

 

See also:

http://www.algarvedailynews.com/news/2043-lagos-dona-ana-beach-still-not-safe

https://scontent-mad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/t31.0-8/11096510_499649410190768_4212631923848883416_o.jpg

Comments  

0 #5 Ed 2017-05-07 20:31
Quoting p tapping:
OmG what have they done to this beach its criminal !!. why was this demolition taken place ,last year was bad enough ,and now on my return 2017 it has been totally spoiled ,what a terrible shame !!

All in the name of safety. They might as well vut all the ciffs to 45 degrees and put rubber matting over the sand. This is a total mess and a cying shame. Maybe the contractors pay a cash commission to selected managers - I can see little reason for the extent of this work. The 'environment agency' seems keen to destroy everything it touches.
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+1 #4 p tapping 2017-05-07 20:23
OmG what have they done to this beach its criminal !!. why was this demolition taken place ,last year was bad enough ,and now on my return 2017 it has been totally spoiled ,what a terrible shame !!
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+2 #3 Fidelma Frewen 2016-06-09 23:30
I have been coming here for 5 years while here la :zzz st year work had started on the beach what a shock to come back and find the beach had been ruined rough sand almost similar to builder's sand covered in shells etc not pleasant such a shame why was no environmental impact not done politicians making decisions without getting advice first
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-3 #2 Ruth 2015-05-24 10:44
The crumbling of the cliff tops is because of watering gardens in close proximity otherwise it would start from the bottom. Putting sand on the beach is ridiculous. Takes away all the beauty from the beach and is not necessary. Jobs for the boys!

Families can not see their children on the shore line when thrust up in the air on a mountain of sand. It also has spoiled walking along the beach. I just don't see the point. The sea does not seem to come up higher than it used to nor is the sand washed away .
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-5 #1 Rob Taylor 2015-05-16 08:13
Yet again emphasising that the more developed EU states must be patrolling the less developed to make sure that they are behaving.

Particularly in environmental matters where decisions faffed today - like re-opening a poisonous mine in Spain or as here destroying marine life are just not left as a local option. Or even a national one.

Malta permitting their idiotic gunmen to kill thousands of birds each year when just passing through to more developed countries who appreciate them alive and have often ID ringed them - is another good example.
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