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Portugal should speed up Azores maritime planning process – columnist



Portugal should speed up Azores maritime planning process - columnist

Portugal’s marine spatial planning plan was approved in 2019, but more than 50% of national waters still do not have a “sustainable marine activity management plan,” according to a report published this Monday.

In addition to Portugal, the WWF study analyzes the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) plans of three other European Union Member States in the North East Atlantic Ocean (Spain, France and Ireland). ), taking into account the ecosystem approach.

Although Portugal received the highest score (46.2%). of the four, “its performance is still below” what WWF considers necessary to classify the country as “partially successful,” contributing to the lack of a specific plan for the Azores.

The MSPs of various countries were ranked in four categories – nature inclusion, socio-economic performance, effective ocean management and the extent of the marine spatial planning process – and on average for each country, Spain ranks second. (39.6%) followed by France (34.2%) and Ireland (32%).


Portugal, which has the largest undivided exclusive economic zone in the EU, was one of the few countries to submit marine spatial planning plans within the deadline set by the European directive that required them, but a national MSP has not yet been applied in the Azores. , representing 57% of Portugal’s EEZ.

The WWF report explains that at the time the Portuguese MSP was being developed, the regional governments had to deal with the most remote regions, Madeira and the Azores, and that in the case of this archipelago, the start of the process was delayed. .

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Delay “undermines the country’s ability to meet the targets for the protection and renewal of the marine environment, as set out in the European Union’s Biodiversity Strategy.”indicates that.

“In addition to their size and geo-strategic military importance, the Azores have “unique and fragile marine ecosystems and blue corridors” (migration routes) that house their waters “some of the highest cetacean biodiversity on Earth, with 28 species of different species. recorded, including blue whales and sperm whales.”

At the same time, the archipelago has a “diverse and growing array of marine activities, including fishing, tourism and scientific research, as well as other emerging industries such as biotechnology and renewable energy”, and is expected to host the largest protected marine area. (AMPA). ) of Portugal, the study says, to highlight the importance of its MSP, whose process, now in the hands of the national government, entered the “development and stakeholder consultation phase” at the time of the WWF report.

“France, Portugal and Spain should accelerate the MSP process for their outlying regions to ensure that their unique natural heritage is preserved in the face of global and regional challenges such as rising sea levels and overfishing.”

In the French case, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion Island and San Martin are at stake, and in the case of Spain, the Canary Islands.

According to the WWF report, the way forward for these four states is to “apply a long-term ecosystem approach to marine spatial planning that ensures that the cumulative impact of human activity remains within ecological limits in all exclusive economic zones, including the most remote regions.” “.

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As well as encouraging and improving “participatory and stakeholder engagement processes for better governance and legitimacy of adopted maritime strategies”, as well as improving “cross-border cooperation between EU Member States” and cooperation with neighboring countries that are not members of the European bloc, so that maritime space plans were consistent and coordinated throughout the region.

The international non-governmental organization also analyzes in the MSP study the member countries in the North Sea (Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden), concluding that national plans in both regions do not guarantee a “sustainable blue economy in the EU” and nature restoration.

The report points out that none of the plans analyzed provide a good answer to the uncertainty of climate change, “despite the fact that high sea temperatures already hampered mackerel and Atlantic salmon catches between 1989 and 2017.”

“The science is clear: climate and biodiversity crises have been affecting fisheries in the world’s largest fishing market for some time now,” said Antonia Leroy, head of ocean policy at WWF Europe, quoted in the report’s press release. .

Leroy believes that “Member States whose economies depend on healthy seas” are “short-sighted” and ignore this “reality in how they manage their maritime areas”, adding that they are “irresponsible (…) for workers, as directly , and indirectly. supply chain.

“A radical overhaul of future planning processes is needed to mitigate the effects of crises and protect our blue economy,” he argues.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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