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“Climate change represents one of the greatest challenges we face”, stresses Alonso Miguel

“Climate change represents one of the greatest challenges we face”, stresses Alonso Miguel

Nov. 22, 2022

The Regional Secretary for the Environment and Climate Change, Alonso Miguel, recognised today that the climate change phenomenon is one of the “greatest challenges” of the present time, being “urgent to act”, which is the case with the Plan for this area for 2023.

“Climate change represents one of the greatest challenges we face. It is, therefore, urgent to act. In this context, we will continue to implement the LIFE IP CLIMAZ project, with a total investment foreseen in this Plan of around 3.5 million, of which around 1.4 million will be implemented by this secretariat. Under the REACT-EU Programme, relevant projects will be concluded within the scope of the fight against climate change, which began in 2022, with a planned investment for 2023 amounting to around 6 million euros”, he highlighted.

The minister was speaking at the Regional Legislative Assembly, on Horta, during the debate on the proposals for the Plan and Budget for 2023.

It is, says Alonso Miguel, a “key moment”, which forces us to “firmly perspective the future but also allows us to look carefully and with satisfaction at the journey so far”.

“It is, therefore, an opportunity to plan all that remains to be completed but also the moment to see how much has already been achieved and the achievements already placed at the service of the Azoreans. The Regional Secretariat for the Environment and Climate Change (SRAAC) Investment Plan for 2023 presents an allocation of approximately 32.2 million euros, of which 13.4 million correspond to investment in public works, with a predominance of coastal protection interventions”, he affirmed.

The Regional Secretary also said that the document integrates the legal and financial regime of support to the climate emergency, “which has a budget of 400 thousand euros to support the populations following storms”.

“The Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) is also in the process of installing two weather radars on São Miguel and Flores by the end of 2023, thus significantly increasing our weather forecasting capacity”, he pointed out.

And continued: “another priority of governmental action under the jurisdiction of this secretariat is nature conservation and the preservation of biodiversity. In this context, with an investment of around 2.5 million euros planned for 2023, of which 1.4 is to be executed by SRAAC, we will continue with the LIFE IP AZORES NATURA, LIFE VIDALIA, LIFE BEETLES and LIFE SNAILS projects”.

The environmental quality of the Azores, also highlighted Alonso Miguel, “is an extraordinary heritage, which assumes a strategic dimension for our sustainable development”.

“In this sense, in 2023, we will resume the Regional Environmental Education Meetings, thus strengthening the commitment to environmental education and awareness, promoting the protection of our natural heritage and fostering sustainable development. In terms of the operationalisation of measures to promote environmental quality, stands out a new project for the bioremediation and restoration of contaminated soils, under a protocol signed with the Environmental Fund, in the amount of 500 thousand euros”, he declared.

Concerning the improvement of waste management and fostering the circular economy, the process of reviewing the Strategic Programme for Waste Prevention and Management has been concluded and is expected to be sent to this Parliament by the end of this year.

Regarding investments in public works, which amount to 13.4 million euros, “stand out the investments of 8.1 for the management and requalification of the coastline, two for interventions in the CPR and 1.3 for planning and environmental promotion”, stressed the Regional Secretary.

Concluding, Alonso Miguel said that this “is an Investment Plan with a marked sense of governmental responsibility, which confirms a new paradigm of public policies, which consummates the passage from words to deeds and reflects a new cycle of progress and development” for the Azores.

“Our commitment is to serve the Azoreans and to build, with conviction, the path to the future. We will not falter”, he ensured.

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