The Praia Grande Project Can Help Revitalize Nature and the Local Economy Published on 24 Jul, 2012 by Sandy Barreiros / Google+
The mayor of Silves has had to defend his highly unwelcome plan to turn increase the amount of profit that is generated from the tourist industry by starting the development of a multimillion dollar resort project that is going to be practically on top of one of the area’s most prominent wildlife sanctuary’s which is located next to the proposed development site.
Mayor Soares has stated that the development has been planned in coordination with several entities and a statement was issued in response to the mass dissention and protests that have marred this monumental decision. Many wild life supporters and residents are not onboard with this decision. According to the mayor, this new construction will help turn the tide and increase the health and play a positive effect on the local economy as well by creating more jobs. The mayor released a statement; “We believe it is in the best interest of the developers of this project to look after the environment and the local fauna and flora, as these are of great importance in attracting possible clients.” She also stated that “Naturally, the municipality will also always be alert in defending the interests of the district, since tourism is one of the principal economic activities of the region.” Authorities feel that this development could be what the area has been missing. Instead of being a liability, the new development would be a great asset and the organizations that are involved can use their different management strategies to help guarantee the success of the business venture, the availability of jobs and profits of the project. The area is widely considered to be one of the most lush and breathtaking landscapes and will be extremely inviting and enticing to tourists from all around the world. By providing superior foods, beautiful beaches and other amenities, visitors will flock to the Praia Grande Project. Although permission for the project was originally granted back in 2007, the final approval was just granted recently and includes the development of 5 special villages, 3 hotels, several shopping centers and even a golf course. Construction on the foundation and infrastructures is slated to begin early 2013 and the grand opening of the first hotels is scheduled as early as 2015. There is much local protesting going on because a portion of the 610 acre project site infringes on the borders of the Salgados sanctuary. This lagoon is one of the final remaining wildlife sanctuaries on the borders of the Algarve coast. Since this sanctuary is considered a haven for many migrant and aboriginal bird species, its unmarred existence is crucial to the environment. Some of the more vocal supporters are the RSPB and several of its affiliates.
Over 6,000 locals have signed a petition that is available online, which was created to help garner attention and support for the cause and to voice their negative feelings about the Praia Grande Project. In addition to the petition, the Almargem and the LPN have made complaints with the EC as well.
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