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UCCLA presents cooperation platform for ocean protection

This Thursday, the Union of Portuguese-Speaking Capital Cities presented the Metamarfose platform, which aims to "promote dialogue, sharing and exchange of knowledge and practices for the valorization and protection of the Ocean, between municipalities, organizations and local actors".


The presentation session, which took place online, was attended by several local actors within the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), such as the Portuguese municipalities of Sintra, Almada and Porto, but also Guinea-Bissau, Brazil, from Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe, and the executive secretary of the CPLP, Manuel Clarote Lapão.

During the presentation of the platform, available on the UCCLA website, emphasis was placed on the need to protect the oceans and the sea, which is in line with the United Nations (UN) Ocean Decade 2021-2030 and the CPLP Strategy for the Oceans.

"The platform must be participatory and fed with work by municipalities on the oceans. The ecosystem must be seen as a whole and there must be a commitment from local governments so that this work is developed and executed in a multilateral way", declared the coordinator from the Social Area of UCCLA, Princesa Peixoto.

The challenges that the ocean faces negatively impact the quality of life of coastal communities, explained UCCLA researcher Mariana Correia.

"The intervention of local governments is relevant, as it is the most elementary and direct representation of communities. There are limitations, so everyone must be included" so that environmental sustainability measures are properly applied, concluded the researcher who was part of the development of the platform.

Manuel Clarote Lapão stressed, at the presentation conference, that CLPL was a "pioneer" in this matter, as it has had a strategy for the oceans since 2010, which establishes "community principles and priorities for political and diplomatic consultation in these areas".

"We have to reduce plastic in the ocean, combat illegal fishing and increase sustainability together", he continued.

"São Tomé and Príncipe has youth and sustainability as the motto of its [current] presidency of the CPLP. The younger generations draw our attention to the perception of these problems", declared Lapão.

The person responsible for the infrastructure area of the Sambizanga district, in the province of Luanda, Wilfredo André, announced that in the province "the use of plastic bags has been banned", which is "one of the great evils of the ocean", mainly in the sector of commerce, this being a region "full of street vendors who constantly use plastic bags in their sales".

As he explained, this ban aims to protect beaches, which face serious pollution problems of this type, and combat the scarcity of marine species associated with water pollution.

The technician from the City Council of Ribeira Grande de Santiago (Cape Verde), Nilton Gomes, also highlighted that "biodiversity must be protected because it is also the food of billions of people, which is why fishing production must be increased" , while protecting the oceans and seas from climate change.

The Portuguese municipality of Almada highlighted the ReDuna environmental project, from the environmental intervention department, in partnership with the Portuguese Environment Agency, to ecologically restore the dunes, as "it is an area with great erosion".

From Porto, an integrated platform was presented that "manages the entire water cycle and allows everything to be monitored in real time", as well as awareness initiatives on the topic of the oceans.

From Sintra, the protocol that the Municipal Water and Sanitation Services have with Shanghai, in China, to rehabilitate streams and the creation of "a marine area of community interest" stood out, in partnership with the Cascais and Mafra councils and the Foundation Blue ocean.


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