Land Use Management Plan for the Watershed Lagoons of Fogo, Congro, São Brás and Serra Devassa, in São Miguel Island, Azores
The lagoons are the most unique elements from the natural heritage of the Azores archipelago, playing key roles in the maintenance and functioning of the biophysical systems of the islands, along with its social and economic importance.
However, the significant vulnerability and sensitivity of these ecosystems, extremely sensitive to environmental pressures, has led in recent decades to situations of destabilization, which are mirrored in the physical, chemical and biological degradation of water quality. The origin of this degradation clearly lays beneath the installation of inadequate models for the use and occupation of those hydrographical basins, which compromise the carrying capacity of aquatic ecosystems.
To control this problem, the regional government has promoted initiatives for the safeguarding of the lagoons, which is important to highlight the Land Management Plans for Watershed Lagoons, as instruments of a special nature.
The preparation of the Land Management Plan for the Watershed Lagoons of Fogo, Congro, São Brás and Serra Devassa aims among other objectives: to contribute to the preservation of natural resources, set rules for soil use, occupation and transformation, allowing to manage the Plan area, from a dynamic and integrated standpoint, to reconcile the different uses and activities with the protection, enhancement and environmental improvement, and to propose measures and interventios that, based on the sustainable development of the hydrographical basins, are necessary to achieve a good ecological and chemical condition of water bodies, in accordance with the provisions of the Water Law.