“We hope that the Portuguese authorities will fulfill their legal duty to protect the Tagus estuary. Mainly because protected migratory birds and habitats depend on this unique natural area for their survival, but also because of the fundamental role these ecosystems play in ensuring a robust and healthy climate,” said the organization’s lawyer Soledad Gallego, in a statement released today by “ClientEarth”.
“ClientEarth” is an advocacy organization that advocates for environmental causes such as fighting climate change, pollution or wildlife advocacy. Lawyers from the organization and the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA), supported by seven other Portuguese environmental organizations, last year presented an action to annul the environmental impact statement that was favorable to the construction of a new airport in Montijo.
The opinion of the Public Ministry was favorable to the action of the organizations.
“The intervention in support of the Public Ministry in the case is the first great success for the environmental groups”, says the statement released today, noting that it particularly supports the lawsuit because the authorities did not consider the “devastating impacts” of a future airport on the Tagus estuary.
In addition to drawing attention to the main shortcomings, “technical errors and inconsistencies” in the environmental impact assessment, the Public Ministry “also highlighted the transboundary impacts that the project would have on international and European migratory birds, and therefore on other protected sites throughout Europe, they were unjustifiably undervalued by the authorities”, stresses the organization, concluding that the Portuguese authorities “refrained from consulting other countries that could be affected by the future project”.
Cited in the document, the lawyer also points out that the Public Ministry underlines not only the importance of recognizing the potential impact that the project will have on migratory birds and on the integrity of the protected site, but also the potential knock-on effect that it would have outside the borders of Portugal .
Source: Correio da Manhã by www.cmjornal.pt.
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