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Regional Secretariat for the Environment and Climate Change present in the 2nd Edition of COOL Açores

Regional Secretariat for the Environment and Climate Change present in the 2nd Edition of COOL Açores

Dec. 9, 2021

The Regional Secretary for the Environment and Climate Change, Alonso Miguel, participated in the 2nd Edition of COOL Azores, held on São Miguel, where he had the opportunity to present the regional programmes and platforms of this Regional Secretariat that contribute to a more active environmental citizenship. 

For Alonso Miguel, issues such as climate change and waste management are extremely important for the whole society, especially for Azoreans, and in the context of the regional plan and budget for 2022, "the plan of the Regional Secretariat for the Environment and Climate Change is the best in the last eight years, with an allocation of approximately 27.5 million euros" based on "pillars that are strategic", among them the fight against climate change, the nature and biodiversity’s conservation, the promotion of environmental quality, the spatial planning, the management of water resources, which he considers "fundamental to sustainable development". 

In this context, the Regional Secretary presented four new projects to be carried out between 2022 and 2023, namely, the development of the Guide for Carbon Neutrality in the Azores, the project to Improve Knowledge of the Location and Conservation Status of Organic Soils and Peatbogs and Monitoring of Carbon Stock, the project to develop risk cartography for mitigation and adaptation to climate change and, finally, the implementation of flood warning systems in watersheds at risk in the Autonomous Region of the Azores to minimize natural disasters. 

In the area of waste management, the Strategic Programme for Waste Prevention and Management 20+ (PEPGRA20+) was addressed, as well as some projects planned to improve its management, including the System for the Deposit of Non-reusable Beverage Packaging in the Azores, the technical guide for the implementation of PAYT (Pay-As-You-Throw) systems, the Circular Economy Guide and the project for restructuring Waste Processing Centres to adapt to the composting process of selective collection of organics. 

Regarding the programmes and awareness-raising actions carried out by this Secretariat, and which aim at a more active and sustainable citizenship, with results that are also reflected in the conservation and preservation of the sea of the Azores, Alonso Miguel emphasised the School Park, Open Park, Junior Park Ranger of the Azores and Green Key programmes, as well as the Miosotis Azores Award, the Green Spirit Awards, partnerships in international environmental education programmes (such as Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment and ECOXXI) and environmental awareness campaigns. Considering these actions as fundamental tools for the involvement of society in environmental issues, "since the end of 2020 and to date, 1309 awareness-raising actions have occurred in schools and for the community in general, which counted with the participation of 22 284 people” said the Regional Secretary. 

Finally, the various initiatives to encourage the participation of civil society in environmental matters were presented, which ensure direct communication with the Azoreans through digital platforms, namely the public discussion processes, the Regional Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development, the Portal Na Minha Ilha, the SOS Environment Line, as well as the online form of the Office of this Secretariat, available for any clarification or suggestion desired by citizens. 

The COOL - Convenção das Organizações para um Oceano Limpo (Convention of Organizations for a Clean Ocean) aims to promote the mobilization of organizations, movements, and/or groups of citizens, for ocean issues, increase cooperation between different entities and establish a national network – and in the case of the Azores, also regional – of organizations working for a healthier ocean. 

The event was promoted by the Fundação Oceano Azul (Blue Ocean Foundation), with the support of the Blue Azores Programme, and was attended by several entities in the environmental area.

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