Fund for the protection of wildlife against the exploitation of lithium

The Fund for the Protection of Wild Animals (FAPAS) today expressed its “repudiation and opposition” to the possible exploration and exploitation of lithium in the Peneda and Soajo mountains in the Peneda-Gerês National Park (PNPG).

In a statement, the structure representing the environmental non-governmental organizations of the strategic council of the Peneda-Gerês National Park expresses its “enormous perplexity and concern about the possible attribution of rights of exploration and exploitation of lithium and other minerals in the mountains of Peneda and Soajo “.

FAPAS requests the Government and the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology “that any and all applications for the granting of exploration rights to mineral deposits in the Fojo area, which covers the municipalities of Monção, Melgaço and Arcos de Valdevez, be rejected.

He also appealed to the environment minister, Matos Fernandes, and to the mayors of the three municipalities concerned to intervene “in order to prevent any movement on the ground, since the opening of new accesses“.

According to the organization, the perimeter defined for exploration “borders on the limits of the Peneda-Gerês National Park” and “partially integrates the Natura 2000 Network and the glacial traces of the Vale do Rio Vez“.

In addition, “it is the breeding ground for two Iberian wolf packs, legally protected species and royal eagles, which, since 2000, the Baixo-Límia-Serra do Xurés Natural Park – bordering PNPG – has been trying to do return to the cross-border region “.

The perimeter also covers “all the surrounding landscape of the village of Sistelo, already recognized by the Portuguese State as Cultural Landscape of Sistelo and several old bergs, testimonies of human occupation and rural heritage, which must also be preserved“, defends the FAPAS.

FAPAS expresses its vehement repudiation and opposition to this claim which, if it were to materialize, would constitute a serious attack on a natural and rural national heritage – and of the entire peninsula northwest – of undeniable value and a severe blow to the economic development of the Alto Minho, “the statement said.

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