Portugal’s proposed new airport would threaten thousands of protected birds

Photo of birds that would be affected by a new airport in Portugal

Attempts to go ahead with the project show a disregard for important EU laws and a lack of consideration of the severe impacts of building the airport on an internationally protected nature site.

So we’ve stepped in. Working with Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves (SPEA), and supported by seven national NGOs, we have filed a court action against the government, aiming to annul Montijo Airport’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

An incomplete environmental assessment

“The Portuguese authorities have failed to consider that this project would adversely affect the integrity of this irreplaceable nature reserve. Persevering despite the unnecessary risk it poses to nature is a blatant breach of EU and national nature laws and cannot go unchallenged.”

The EIS is an important document which should consider the impacts of any development on the environment.  The law requires that a series of tests be carried out before a development can go ahead which affects a protected site.  The Portuguese authorities failed to carry out those tests and have simply proposed to ‘relocate’ the habitats and birds that will be affected by the airport.

Protected migratory birds and habitats in the Tagus will be permanently disturbed if the airport is constructed, and failure to fully assess the project’s environmental impact, and suggesting that birds can and will simply inhabit nearby salt flats, is a clear breach of EU and national laws.

This is an excerpt from an article by ClientEarth, originally published on clientearth.org.

Travindy is an independent website featuring news and opinion on all issues to do with tourism and sustainability. Written primarily for an industry audience, our aim is to support the transformation of the sector into one that is regenerative, restorative and fully inclusive.

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