Portugal takes one step further in river restoration and starts a national petition urging more dam removals!
On the same day that the removal of an obsolete river barrier in the municipality of Alcoutim, in Algarve, begins, ANP/WWF starts collecting signatures to ask the Government to prioritize river restoration in the State Budget, through the allocation of funds for removing obsolete barriers.
The national public petition asks for a budget to be set aside for the removal of river barriers in Portugal, and the Government’s commitment to accelerate these removals.
In a news item released by ANP/WWF, Ruben Rocha, Water Coordinator from the organisation, states that: “The removal of river barriers is a tool for restoring nature and is the most effective and least expensive way to permanently restore the functioning of these ecosystems. The Government must see river restoration as an urgency and priority if we want to be in line with the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, which asks for the release of at least 25,000 km of rivers in Europe”.
This was the first removal of an obsolete river barrier carried out by ANP/WWF. The Galaxes dam removal started on March 27 and will restore the river connectivity of 7,7 km at Ribeira de Odeleite.
The demolition of this barrier is being carried out with the support of the European Open Rivers Programme, the Dutch Postcode Lottery, Forest Peace Foundation, NNEK, Bouwmarkt Schoonoord, WWF, and the World Fish Migration Foundation.