37 parishes were distinguished by the Azorean Government for the care with environmental protection
May 2, 2023
The President of the Regional Government of the Azores, José Manuel Bolieiro, together with the Regional Secretary in charge of the Environment, Alonso Miguel, delivered on Thursday evening an award to 37 parishes of the Azores, valuing the “special respect” shown to Nature and the Region as a whole.
“I want to leave this recognition to the local authorities of the Azores and especially to the president of parish councils. There is no other face of Portuguese democracy that is as brilliant and captivating as that of the parish councils' presidents. They don't just order things to be done, they do them: they are always present,” said the governor, speaking at the Municipal Auditorium of Santa Cruz das Flores at the ceremony to present the excellence awards under the “Eco-Freguesia, Freguesia Limpa” programme for the year 2022.
The “Eco-Freguesia, Freguesia Limpa” programme, organised by the Regional Government of the Azores through the Regional Secretariat for the Environment and Climate Change, has as its main goal to recognise and reward the efforts of the parishes and the collaboration of the populations in cleaning, removing and forwarding to appropriate destination waste abandoned in public spaces, including watercourses and the coastline, as well as the development and participation in environmental education and awareness programmes and actions.
For José Manuel Bolieiro, who defined himself as a “committed environmentalist”, it is good to have the “recognition of merit” in its various aspects, and the “point of arrival” that the awards delivered on Thursday represent “the best starting point” for the future.
“The prestige of a population is made of what we present to those who visit and evaluate us. I am, as President of the Government, very pleased for this moment and very happy to be with you”, he underlined, addressing the presidents present.
“Environmental literacy” was also defended by the President of the Government, who encouraged the presidents to pursue this goal in their territories.
Earlier, the Regional Secretary for the Environment and Climate Change argued that this programme “represents a fundamental instrument of cooperation for waste management and promotion of environmental quality, as well as for the conservation and enhancement of natural heritage” of the Azores.
“The parish councils, due to their proximity to local populations and detailed knowledge of their respective territories, are strategic partners and play a key role, often with scarce resources, for an enormous challenge that represents the preservation of the environment,” stressed Alonso Miguel.
In total, he said, 138 parishes have signed up for the Programme in 2022, which has allowed, through actions carried out by local entities, removing approximately 1,880 tonnes of waste abandoned in public spaces, “about 400 tonnes more than the previous year”.
“In 2022, we proceeded to sound out all the parish councils in the Region. And, based on the important contributions collected, significant improvements were made to the Programme, corresponding to the needs of the parishes, having proceeded to change the regulation with the publication of a new ordinance that creates the Programme now simply called “Eco-Freguesia”. Thus, in the 2023 edition, for example, we will also value the waste collected and selectively delivered to a licensed operator, according to its typology and quantity, thus promoting the selective collection of waste,” said Alonso Miguel.
Concerning the applications made in 2022, 37 parishes were awarded, six more than in 2021:
- Flores: Fajã Grande Parish Council;
- Faial: Parish Councils of Praia do Norte, Salão, Angústias, Praia do Almoxarife and Ribeirinha;
- São Jorge: Rosais Parish Council;
- Pico: Parish Councils of Candelária, Madalena, São Mateus, Piedade and Calheta de Nesquim;
- Graciosa: Parish Councils of Santa Cruz and São Mateus;
- Terceira: Parish Councils of Ribeirinha, São Bartolomeu de Regatos, Doze Ribeiras, São Mateus da Calheta, Terra Chã, Feteira, Posto Santo, Raminho, Porto Judeu, Porto Martins, Fontinhas, Agualva, Fonte do Bastardo and Santa Bárbara;
- Santa Maria: Santo Espírito Parish Council;
- São Miguel: Parish Councils of Relva, Conceição, Maia, São Brás, Ribeira Chã, Santana, Achadinha and Algarvia.