Private interests may destroy part of Portugal’s natural beauty – let’s stop them

The cliffs of Ponta da Piedade in Algarve, Portugal are one of the region’s best known natural attractions. They are not only a local landmark but also a unique heritage site, visited by thousands of people each year.

But now, a large part of this land has been fenced off by private interests, who are seeking to develop it. This would destroy the beauty of Ponta da Piedade, and block access to public visitors.

I’m an author who grew up in the area, and a DiEM25 member. Since I was a child, I have hiked these cliffs and have a strong personal connection to them. I believe they should be preserved and remain accessible to the public, so future generations can enjoy them too.

So I assembled a group of local citizens to save the area, and we have started a campaign.

The challenge

Photo: Fenced off area around the cliffs encroaching on public land.

The municipality has already begun drafting plans to develop this area, and large portions of the cliffs have recently been fenced off by private interests. One of these is a large construction company, which is advertising the land for sale with possible construction permits.

The fences reach all the way to the edge of the cliffs, illegally encroaching on public land, and preventing residents or visitors from fully enjoying the area surrounding the cliffs.

Our proposals

We want to stop any development plans the municipality may have already started, and open a dialogue between the municipality and the local community to discuss how best to preserve this unique natural area.

So we are sending an open letter to the municipality, requesting:

  1. Safe access to the cliffs by removing the fences
  2. Withdrawal of any current development plans for the cliffs, or construction permits
  3. A public consultation so the community can decide with the municipality what should happen with the area. The community should have the right to vote for different project proposals as to how the area could best be used or developed

We are asking anyone who is interested, to join us in signing the letter.

If we do not shape the world with the public interest in mind, then it will be shaped by other interests, who typically do not have the benefit of the community at heart.

We need your support! If you want to help save Ponta da Piedade for the benefit of the community, preserve nature, and give citizens a say in what happens to their area

This campaign is part of DiEM25’s Campaign Accelerator project.

DiEM25 members are currently discussing possible actions to address the issue discussed in this article. If you’d like to be involved, or if you have knowledge, skills or ideas to contribute on this, get in touch

Photo Source 1: Photo by Nadia Sales Grade. 

Photo Source 2: MetropolitanSpin.

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