To report on progress to the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy, the European Commission extracted relevant information from the EU Member States’ 5th national reports to the CBD. Of the 5 countries which had not finalized their national reports at the time of the synthesis (26th of August 2015), Greece, Malta, Portugal and Lithuania provided information to be included in the synthesis.

The 5th national reports were examined, and relevant information on selected actions under Targets 1-6 of the EU biodiversity strategy was directly copied. Thus, the information presented here is in the original language and wording of the 5th national reports.

The focus was on information that is particular to the respective Member State rather than referencing EU wide information. In addition, only information that is not directly reported to the European Commission by Member States was retrieved from the reports. Each Member State had the opportunity to review the synthesis of its report and to provide additional input. For more information, please view here. The 5th national report for Portugal can be downloaded here.

EU target 1

Fully implement the Birds and Habitats Directives

(Please note that information from Member States in relation to Action 1a is supplied to the European Commission via other reports. To avoid duplication of reporting, information relating to Action 1a has not been included in this report)

Actions 1: Natura 2000 (and other protected areas)

The National System of Classified Areas (SNAC) consists of the National Network of Protected Areas (RNAP), the Classified Areas of Natura 2000 and other Classified Areas under international commitments.

In mainland Portugal the total area classified under the RNAP and Natura 2000, in late 2013, was about 22% of the land territory. About 190,000 ha of marine area are also classified.

Between 2010 and 2014 three new Ramsar sites were classified. In March 2014 there were 31 Ramsar sites in Portugal with an area of 132,487.7 ha.

Two new protected areas with 214.67 ha and 24,767.46 ha were included in the RNAP.

Until May 2014, Portugal has designated 97 Natura 2000 SCI/SAC, with a total area of 16844 km², amounting to 17.4% of the land area of the country. 30 sites have marine areas; amounting to 1173 km² of marine area of SCI. 59 SPAs are designated with a total area of 11486 km², amounting to 10.7% of the land area of the country. 10 SPAs are marine, with an area of 762 km².

The insufficient SCI designation is being addressed through technical proposals for the terrestrial and marine environments.

In the marine and coastal environment the main action was the extension of the SPA Ilhas Berlengas in 2012, covering a wide marine area around the archipelago as a result of new data on the distribution in the sea of breeding population of Cory's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) and including important feeding and resting areas for the species. To improve management, non-extractive areas were identified or marked as required. The project LIFE+ Berlengas - Conservation of endangered habitats and species in the SPA Berlengas through sustainable management (2014-2018) is ongoing. Further evaluation of three new SPAs on the mainland coast of Portugal is taking place. Their focus is the migratory and wintering population, very threatened, of the Balearic-shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus). This process is based on several of projects co-financed by the LIFE programme and European Economic Area (EEA) Grants.

Projects oriented for acquisition of knowledge in support of the enlargement of Natura 2000 to the marine environment:

  • Project FAME - Future of the Atlantic Marine Environment (2010-2012). It has among its objectives: to develop recommendations on the designation and management of marine protected areas; to map areas essential for the survival of endangered/protected seabirds; to assess the impact of human activities (including fisheries and renewables) in areas of high ecological importance; to produce recommendations on the management of these areas for the benefit of endangered/protected seabirds; to recommend marine areas for future protection;
  • Project Interreg MESH Atlantic (2010-2012).
  • Projeto LIFE+ MarPro (2011-2015) for the acquisition of knowledge on the interaction between fisheries and marine natural values and to contribute to the definition of offshore Natura 2000 sites (contiguous to mainland Portugal).

In Madeira Autonomous Region, the Natura 2000 consists of 11 SACs and 5 SPAs. SACs have an area of 47,000 ha, about 30% of the terrestrial part of the Region. During 2014 the SPAs were classified, the integration of Garajau Partial Natural Reserve in the SAC Pináculo and the integration of Marine Protected Areas Network of Porto Santo in the SAC “Ilhéus do Porto Santo” were proposed. It was proposed to include areas of occurrence of cetaceans in the Natura 2000.

The project LIFE IBAS marinhas identified 2 marine IBAs in surrounding areas of Ilhas Desertas (PTM16) and of Ilhas Selvagens (PTM17) used by important colonies of pelagic seabirds of the North Atlantic.

In the Azores Autonomous Region the Regional Network of Protected Areas (RFCN) promotes an integrated view of protected natural heritage and integrates the Natura 2000, the protected areas of regional importance, the Ecological Reserve and the Regional Agricultural Reserve. The Protected Areas network integrates the management units Island Natural Park, the Azores Marine Park and local Protected Areas. The 9 island parks integrate Natura 2000 areas and areas classified under international conventions. The island parks and marine park include respectively 123 and 11 Classified Areas.

Strategies, Action Plans and Projects

  • Action Plan for the Conservation of the Iberian Lynx (2008). Its implementation is ongoing. In 2014 reintroduction actions were initiated and several measures of habitat management and promotion of prey were taken.

Portugal takes part on PCESLI - Ex Situ Conservation Programme of Iberian Lynx, to ensure the conservation of 85% of its genetic variability and providing individuals for reintroduction in previously selected areas

  • Programme for the conservation of Spanish imperial eagle. In place since 2008. In 2011 a multiyear plan of activities was elaborated. A monitoring plan is obtaining detailed information on the breeding success of each pair, as well on the main threats on the population. The Portuguese and Spanish working groups have produced a draft Iberian Strategy for the Imperial Eagle;
  • Action Plan for the Conservation and Monitoring of the resident population of bottlenose dolphins in the Sado Estuary. Published in 2009;
  • Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of the Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus);
  • Regional plan to mitigate the use of poison in the regions of Mourão/Moura/Barrancos and Vale do Guadiana (under LIFE project “Promoting Iberian lynx and black vulture habitat in southeastern Portugal” (2010-2013);
  • Action Plan” (Action Plan for the Conservation of tree-nesting populations of Bonelli's Eagle Aquila fasciata of Portugal - Strategic Lines under LIFE Nature Project “Conservation of tree-nesting Bonelli's Eagle populations in Portugal” (2006-2011);
  • Action plan for jarabujo (Anaecypris hispanica) 2012-2016. Concluded in September 2011;
  • Strategy for the conservation of scavenger birds in Portugal (in prep.).

The following projects should be noted:

  • LIFE+ Promoting Iberian lynx and black vulture habitat in southeastern Portugal (2010-2013);
  • LIFE+ Iberlince - Recovering the historic distribution range of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) in Spain and Portugal(2011 a 2016);
  • LIFE+ IMPERIAL – Conservation of Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) in Portugal (2014 a 2018);
  • LIFE+ Saramugo – Conservation of jarabujo (Anaecypris hispanica) in Guadiana basin (Portugal) (2014 a 2018);
  • LIFE+ Berlengas – Conservation of threatened habitats and species in SPA Berlengas through a sustainable management (2014 a 2018);
  • LIFE+ ECOTONE - Management of riverine habitats for the of invertebrates threatened with extinction (2012 a 2016);
  • Reintroduction of the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in Portugal (2011-2015)
  • LIFE+ Steppic Birds - Great Bustard, Little Bustard and Lesser Kestrel conservation in cereal steppes in Alentejo (2009-2012) (2009-2012);
  • LIFE+ Conservation of tree-nesting Bonelli's Eagle populations (Aquila fasciata) in Portugal (2006-2011);
  • Kestrel’s colony recovery project in the Special Protection Area of S. Vicente.

Measures were also taken to mitigate o the illegal use of poisons and mortality caused by infrastructures of distribution and transmission of energy:

  • Project LIFE+ Innovative actions against illegal poisoning in EU Mediterranean pilot areas (2010-2015), focusing on the poisoning of wild species considered as harmful for game species management;
  • Antídoto Portugal Programme: a public and private platform aiming to combat the illegal use of poison and to contribute to a better understanding of its consequences on the wildlife;
  • Cooperation Protocols between an electric energy company, NGOs and the Environmental Authorities has provided the technical knowledge and institutional basis for the company commitment to implement mitigation measures in new lines, especially within the Natura 2000, Important Bird Areas and Protected Areas. Guidelines on Good Environmental Practices were produced.
  • LIFE Ilhéus do Porto Santo (LIFE09 NAT/PT/000041) - Halting the loss of European biodiversity through restoration of habitats and species of islets of Porto Santo and surrounding marine area;
  • LIFE Maciço Montanhoso (LIFE11/NAT/PT/327) - Restoration and conservation of species and habitats in Maciço Montanhoso Central da Madeira;
  • LIFE RECOVER NATURA (LIFE12 NAT/PT/000195) - Restoration and conservation of terrestrial species and habitats in the Natura 2000 sites of Ponta de São Lourenço and Ilhas Desertas;
  • LIFE Fura-bardos - Conservation of Fura-bardos (Accipiter nisus granti) e Laurissilva habitat on Madeira Island;
  • LIFE Cetáceos - Madeira II (LIFE07 NAT/P/000646) - Identification of critical marine areas for the bottlenose dolphin and surveillance of cetacean conservation status in Madeira Archipelago;
  • LIFE IBAS marinhas (LIFE04 NAT/PT/00023) – Important areas for seabirds in Portugal.
  • LIFE12 NAT/PT/000527 Terras do Priolo (Pyrrhula murina) (2013 a 2018) intends to contribute to the management of the SPA Pico da Vara/Ribeira do Guilherme.
  • Species Action Plan for the Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina) in the European Union (2009 – 2019).
  • LIFE07 NAT/P/000649 Sanctuary Islands for Seabirds (2009 a 2013), oriented to the conservation of seabird colonies in the Azores (habitat restoration and control and eradication of invasive alien species).

For the period 2014-2020 the partnership agreement for the implementation of the European a Structural Investment Funds adopted in 2014 integrates major priorities related to Birds and Habitats Directives and Natura 2000, according to the Prioritized Action Framework approved in 2013. An in-depth integration of nature (and biodiversity) in the reformed Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies took place in order to ensure the most adequate programming of rural development and fisheries funding of the investment and recurrent management needs of Natura 2000.

Action 2: Adequate financing of Natura 2000

In January 24, 2014, the WWF and the ICNF, IP, promoted a workshop on "Financing Natura 2000 Network - More and better opportunities from EU funds for 2014-2020", where the Portuguese Priority Action Framework (PAF) was presented.

PAF identifies priority conservation measures to be implemented until 2020, consisting of a concise, objective and realistic action plan, rather than a comprehensive set of measures, which may be relevant, but beyond the administrative, technical and scientific and financial implementation capacity of the country in coming years.

The identified priority measures are general but structural (e.g. mapping of natural habitats and the assessment and monitoring of protected natural values) and strategic (e.g. agricultural and forest management of RN2000 and the valuation of ecosystem services), aiming to integrate at the appropriate levels of programming of EU funds, access to finance by public and private entities, with a view to implement key measures of biodiversity policy and to pursuit the goals and commitments and legal and political obligations of Portugal, at all levels, national, EU and global.

In order to mobilize funding for the Autonomous Regions, PAF were developed for the RN2000 of Azores and Madeira, for the period 2014-2020.

In addition to regional funds, other European funds, such as LIFE, the EAFRD, ERDF and ESF, contribute to finance biodiversity conservation actions. The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and Horizon 2020, for research and development are also relevant.

Also on Action 2 of the EU Strategy, for the period 2014-2020 the partnership agreement for the implementation of the European an Structural Investment Funds adopted in 2014 integrates major priorities related to Birds and Habitats Directives and Natura 2000, according to the Prioritized Action Framework approved in 2013. An in-depth integration of nature (and biodiversity) in the reformed Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies took place in order to ensure the most adequate programming of rural development, fisheries and Cohesion funding of the investment and recurrent management needs of Natura 2000.

Action 3a: Stakeholder awareness and enforcement

The evaluation from 2013 (Eurobarometer) contains the results of a survey to citizens with answers to the following questions:

  • importance and seriousness of biodiversity loss
  • personal efforts to tackle biodiversity loss
  • Natura 2000 and the importance of nature protection areas
  • measures the EU should take to protect biodiversity

The 3rd International Environmental Education Congress of Portuguese Speaking Countries and Communities will be held in July 2015. Under the guidance of the Treaty of Environmental Education for Sustainable Societies and Global Responsibility and the Earth Charter, it is organized around 10 Main Themes.

The LIFE+ project BIO+SINTRA Enhancing Biodiversity in Sintra, Europe's First Cultural Landscape (2010-2013) to promote active public participation in the conservation of key natural values of the Serra de Sintra and dissemination of causal relationships between daily activities, carbon emissions, climate change and biodiversity loss, to promote the adoption of environmentally friendly behavior. The LIFE+ project ECOCOMPATÍVEL (LIFE09 INF/EN/00045) intends to establish links among the socio-economic, human recreational activities and biodiversity in RN2000 sites in Madeira.

The Regional Plan for Education and Environmental Awareness of Azores (PRESAA) is in force since 2011 and combines all the campaigns, projects and actions promoted in this issue by the regional government. Authorities, businesses, NGOs and local associations also contribute to its implementation. The "Azorean Biodiversity Kit", was published in 2012 under this Plan and it was distributed in 1st cycle schools.

Every year the program “Parque Escolar” is held In the Azores. It is a set of activities in the a class-room context with field trips to protected areas, with biodiversity, geodiversity, waste prevention, climate change and good practices of environmental citizenship as main themes.

The Partner Program for Sustainable Development promotes a nature oriented culture in order to raise awareness on appreciation biodiversity among the public.

The portal “Sentir e Interpretar o Ambiente dos Açores - SIARAM”, created in the International Year of Biodiversity (2010), is regularly updated. Its content (multimedia, texts, videos, photos and audio, with testimonials from researchers form the University of the Azores and other experts) can be freely used for educational and non commercial purposes.

The Nature Conservation and Natural Parks portals of the Azores contain the description of the natural values that can be found in each protected area. Relevant information can also be accessed in the Environmental Monitoring Portal – AzMoniAmb.

Relevant internet sites, created or maintained by the Biodiversity Group of the University of Azores in the last 6 years:

  • Grupo da Biodiversidade dos Açores;
  • Portal da Biodiversidade dos Açores;
  • Galeria da Biodiversidade dos Açores;
  • Base de dados ATLANTIS;
  • Aranhas dos Açores;
  • Térmitas dos Açores;
  • E.D.E.N – Habitats dos Açores.

Biological and genetic material banks

A protocol between ICNF, I.P., and the Botanical Garden of the National Museum of Natural History (at Lisbon University) aims to the ex situ conservation of threatened native flora.

Until the end of 2013, the seeds of 53% of plant taxa legally protected by the Habitats Directive were already conserved on a long-term in a germplasm bank, with 23% of these species included in a DNA bank. These actions contribute to the fulfillment of the target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Action 4: Monitoring and reporting

The implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives requires a periodic review of the conservation status of many relevant species and habitats.

The Spatial Plans and Management Plans of Protected Areas and Classified Areas of Natura 2000 may integrate a monitoring program to regularly evaluate the implementation of the proposed measures and actions. Also EIA processes involve monitoring key environmental indicators (including fauna, flora and vegetation) potentially affected by the project implementation.

In mainland Portugal biodiversity monitoring is among the priorities in the Priority Action Framework 2014-2020 for Natura 2000. Essential biodiversity indicators are not identified, but various monitoring programs have been implemented for certain species of high nature value or regarded as representatives of a given taxonomic group, which may integrate the set of progress indicators towards significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss. National biodiversity indicators should be defined (based on SEBI) and approaches and methodologies for monitoring of species and habitats should be identified and operationalized.

Long-term monitoring programs for various species and groups of birds are implemented:

  • National Monitoring Programme of Wintering Waterfowl, oriented to species highly dependent of wetland areas. This programme is ongoing since 1976 and it involves the yearly evaluation of population abundance and distribution of species of Anseriforms and Gruiforms;
  • Constant Effort Sites ringing scheme. It aims to monitor the population changes of widespread passerine and near-passerine species, through a programme of systematic summer mist-netting in specific habitats.

Specific monitoring action are implemented at regional level:

  • Monitoring scheme of rupicolous birds (Gyps fulvus, Neophron percnopetrus, Hieraaetus fasciatus, Aquila chrysaetos, Ciconia nigra, Bubo bubo, Oenanthe leucura) breeding at the Parque Natural da Serra de S. Mamede;
  • Annual monitoring scheme of birds of prey at the Reserva Natural das Lagoas de Santo André e Sancha;
  • Monitoring scheme of Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola) and Little Tern (Sterna albifrons) breeding at the Reserva Natural do Estuário do Tejo;
  • Monitoring scheme of Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii) breeding at the Reserva Natural do Sapal de Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António;
  • Monitoring scheme of Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus), Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), Alpine swift (Apus melba), European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) at the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais;
  • Monitoring scheme of rupicolous birds (Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus), Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopetrus), Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus), Golden Eagle( Aquila chrysaetos), Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) and Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)) breeding at the Parque Natural do Douro Internacional;
  • Monitoring scheme of Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) breeding at the Vale do Guadiana and Castro Verde SPAs and surrounding areas;-
  • Monitoring scheme of Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) breeding at the Vale do Guadiana SPA;
  • Autumn and spring counts of Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) at the Vale do Guadiana and Castro Verde SPAs;
  • Monitoring scheme of Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) breeding at Costa Sudoeste SPA;
  • Monitoring scheme of Common Crane (Grus grus) wintering at the Vale do Guadiana and Castro Verde SPAs and surrounding areas;
  • Monitoring scheme of Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis), European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and Common Guillemot (Uria aalge) at Ilhas Berlengas SPA;
  • Monitoring scheme of sea birds at the Reserva Natural das Lagoas de Santo André e Sancha.

At national level, since 2010, monitoring projects were implemented focusing on several taxonomic groups:

  • A monitoring programme of the cave-dwelling bat species is in progress since 1987 and involves the estimation of bat numbers present in the most important wintering and maternity roosts. Annually surveys are carried out in most of the roosts. A recent analysis of the data collected between 1988 and 2012 includes population trends of seven species calculated with software TRIM. The use of updated criteria to evaluate roosts of national importance showed that currently there are 76 important roosts (3 important all-year round, 43 hibernacula and 40 maternities);
  • CAC (Censo de Aves Comuns): the Common Bird Census is a long term monitoring programme of common breeding birds and their habitats, in Portugal. It was launched by SPEA (NGO) in 2004 in mainland Portugal and Madeira and later in 2007 in the Azores. This census is integrated into the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS).

The Common Birds Indexes (IACZA, IACZF) are published until 2009;

  • CANAN (Contagens de Aves no Natal e Ano Novo): farmland’s wintering birds monitoring scheme;
  • NOCTUA-Portugal: night birds monitoring scheme;
  • RAM (Rede de observação de Aves e Mamíferos Marinhos): observation network of Marine Birds and Mammals;
  • Arenaria: distribution, abundance and population trends of the Portuguese coastal marine birds during winter;
  • Monitoring scheme of Great Bustard (Otis tarda);
  • Monitoring scheme of Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti).
  • Monitoring vertebrate mortality in Portuguese roads: since 2010, a joint project of the University of Lisbon and Estradas de Portugal, S.A aims to minimize road mortality and improve road permeability by mapping high mortality spots and improving drainage culverts for animal crossing;
  • As contributions to the establishment of a reference framework for natural species, we should refer the Atlas of Bats of Portugal (ICNF 2013), the Atlas of Wintering and Migratory Birds, the Atlas of Breeding Birds in Madeira Archipelago and the Atlas and the Atlas of Breeding and Passing Birds in Portugal (in prep.).

The Atlas of Portuguese Bats (mainland Portugal) project involved around 150 volunteers and the main goals were to map the present distribution of the 25 bats species known to occur in mainland Portugal, to populate a database to make available this information to all interested parts and, in conjunction with the campaign 2011-2012 Year of the Bat, to mobilize and stimulate bat professionals into educating human populations regarding the importance of bats in the ecosystems.

The implementation of management measures under the Rural Development Programme is evaluated through the following items:

  • Index of common farmland birds;
  • Agricultural area of high natural value;
  • Monitoring Programme of natural values in the Integrated Territorial Intervention of the Costa Sudoeste: the monitoring of bird communities and the characterization of flora and amphibians of temporary ponds took place in 2010. It covered the Natura 2000 areas Costa Sudoeste Site of Community Importance (SCI) and Costa Sudoeste Special Protection Area (SPA);
  • Monitoring of steppic birds, during spring of 2010 and winter 2010-11. It covered the Natura 2000 area Castro Verde Special Protection Area.

In Madeira Autonomous Region the following monitoring programmes should be referred:

  • Artropodofauna at vale da Castanheira, on Desertas islands;
  • Malacofauna at vale da Castanheira, on Desertas islands;
  • Conservation state of Monachus monachus, on Desertas islands;
  • Conservation state of Pterodroma deserta, on Desertas islands;
  • Population of Pelagodroma marina hypoleuca, on Selvagem Grande island;
  • Populations of Tarentola boettgeri bischoffi and of Teira dugesii selvagensis), on Selvagem Grande island;
  • Restauration of the population of Tarentola boettgeri bischoffi;
  • Flora and marine in Selvagens islands;
  • Restauration of terrestrial on Selvagem Grande island;
  • Population of Calonectris diomedea borealis, on Selvagem Grande island;
  • Conservation state of Columba trocaz;
  • Conservation state of Pterodroma madeira;
  • Monitoring and identification of entomofauna, on Desertas islands;
  • Monitoring and control of Larus michahellis.

In Azores Autonomous Region the following monitoring programmes are in place:

  • Common Bird Census (CAC) - since 2007;
  • Census of - Since 1990. The current methodology (158 points) started in 2008 and is held annually. Every 4 years is complemented by a simultaneous counting of more 149 points for a total of 307 points for the project Atlas do Priolo;
  • Pyrrhula murina Juveniles Recruitment Census - Held biannually in 2010 and 2012;
  • Census of Buteo buteo rothschildi and Buteo buteo harterti: seeks basic information on the populations in the Azores and Madeira. It is held annually, since 2006;
  • Monitoring of Scolopax rusticola populations. Since 2001, it is now held on most of the islands. It is based on a rooding census;
  • Monitoring of Coturnix c. conturbans populations - a) Census on São Miguel island, of birds per hectare before and after the hunting season with the aid of dogs (since 2002); b) Census of calling males per linear kilometer, along transects in June-July (since 2006);
  • Monitoring of Gallinago gallinago - Monitoring of abundance through census held during the reproduction season, recording birds in exhibition (drumming, vocalizing, etc.) at fixed observation points;
  • Monitoring of the abundance of hunting species during the hunting season - with information collection from hunters in hunting days, estimating an index of abundance (number of birds observed per hour per hunter) which complements the annual monitoring and the systematic surveillance of the conservation status.
  • Census of bats.

Red lists and books

The Atlas and Red Book of Threatened Bryophytes of Portugal was published in 2013. There are 704 bryophyte taxa (including species, subspecies and several varieties with taxonomical significance) in mainland Portugal, comprising about 40% of European species and almost 65% of all Iberian bryophytes.

In the Madeira Autonomous Region, the red list of bryophytes of Madeira was published in 2014.

EU target 2

Maintain and restore ecosystems and their services

Action 5: Knowledge of ecosystems and their services

It should be referred the program in which Coca-Cola Portugal - Refrige voluntarily pays forest owners, under a partnership mediated by WWF that aims to promote the voluntary market for payment for ecosystem services in the world's largest area of cork oak which is situated over the largest Iberian aquifer.

The Coca-Cola Portugal - Refrige consumes 500,000 m3 of water from the Tagus aquifer annually. The group of forest owners adopted certified (by FSC) sustainable forest management practices in 16,000 ha. About 600 ha are considered critical for biodiversity and for recharging the Tagus aquifer.

A pilot project launched by nature conservation authorities on mapping and assessment of ecosystems and ecosystem services was concluded in 2014 for a NUT II region (Alentejo). Methodologies for mapping and the assessment of ecosystems, and indicators were developed tested taking into account EU-JRC MAES analytical framework. A study on the economics of ecosystems in a natural park /Natura 2000 site was also carried on. A national level MAES, including the valuation ecosystem services will be contracted in 2015/2016 up to 2018/19.

It is in course a TEEB for marine ecosystems under the Oceans Initiative promoted by the private Gulbenkian Foundation.

In mainland Portugal, in relation to the management of bathing water quality, in 2013, 543 bathing water were monitored (446 coastal or transitional waters and 97 inland waters). The tendency remained positive, with the quality of 97.8% of coastal bathing and transition waters obtaining a rating of "acceptable" or higher, with 91.9% "excellent", and the quality of 84.5% of inland bathing waters to achieve a rating of "acceptable" or higher, with 59 8% "excellent". Even if it is not a specific monitorization of evaluate water pollution, it tells us that the evolution of water quality is positive.

In 2010, under the management plans of river basin regions (PGRH 2009-2015), the status of water bodies, based on data collected from monitoring programs, was classified. In cases of lack of data modeling and expert analysis were used. It was concluded that 52% of water bodies has good quality or better.

In 2010 the ecological status of natural surface waters (rivers, transitional and coastal waters) in the various river basin regions was good or better between 42% and 73%. The chemical status was largely unknown. The majority of groundwater reached good condition.

It is projected that by 2027 the status of 100% of surface and groundwater will be good or better (except for one of the eight river basin regions where a value of 82% for surface water is foreseen).

Action 6b: Ecosystem restoration and green infrastructure

Green infrastructures are integrated in Cohesion policy and in the national operational programs for the period 2014-2020.

Several natural habitats in an unfavourable conservation status (9580* Mediterranean Taxus baccata woods, 3170* Mediterranean Temporary Ponds, 4020* Temperate Atlantic wet heaths with Erica ciliaris and Erica tetralix, 6230* Species-rich Nardus grasslands, on silicious substrates in mountain areas (and submountain areas in Continental Europe), 6110* Rupicolous calcareous or basophilic grasslands of the Alysso-Sedion albi e 8240* Limestone pavements) were object of financial support by the LIFE programme:

  • Projeto LIFE+ Taxus - Restoring yew thickets (2013-2016);
  • Projeto LIFE+ Conservation of Temporary Ponds in the Southwest Coast of Portugal (2013-2017);
  • Projeto LIFE+ NAT/PT/000043 Higro (2010-2014);
  • Projecto LIFE+ NAT/PT/000040 Habitats Conservation (2010-2014).

In Madeira Autonomous Region 5 LIFE projects are ongoing in 3 of the 4 islands, covering in a significant way the priority habitats of the habitats directive in the archipelago.

Restoration of natural habitats and sensitive areas has been carried out in the Azores Autonomous Region, with invasive species control and plantation of characteristic native species to the local habitats, propagated in nurseries. At the Ponds of Pedro Miguel, in Faial island, invasive species were removed and the endemic Juniperus brevifolia were planted. Using the LIFE program in Graminhais-Northeast on the island of São Miguel natural forest and peatland areas of RN2000 were restored. The Scientific Project Renaturalisation and Valorization of the Forest Nucleus of Negro Lagoon (Lagoa do Negro) was implemented, whereby ecological processes promoting the regeneration of the Azores peatlands after anthropogenic pressure were studied, as ecological restoration model where management and active restoration measures are applied.

EU target 3

Increase the contribution of agriculture and forestry to maintaining and enhancing biodiversity

Agricultural and agro-forestry ecosystems

Mainland Portugal

The implementation of the Sectoral Plan of the Natura 2000 is in progress, through its integration in Instruments of Land Management (municipal land use plans (PMOT) and special land use plans (PEOT)).

Financial instruments - ITI (Integrated Territorial Interventions), supported by rural development, remain in force, and are related with the maintenance and promotion of conservation status of habitats and species. Local Support Structures were created to support, guide and provide information to farmers and forest managers. Good practice guides on forest and farming management were developed, as well as demonstrative actions for farmers.

At national level, the sales of plant protection products, which are currently the best indicator to estimate the use of such products, have been consistently declining and has decreased around 15% between 2012 and 2011.

The agricultural area under organic farming in mainland Portugal, between 1994 and 2012, increased from 0.2% to 6.1% of the total utilized agricultural area. In 2012, on the mainland Portugal, the predominant type of crop was pastures (61.8% of the area). In terms of animal production, in 2012, in mainland Portugal, sheep and cattle were the main species under organic farming representing approximately 36.5% and 27.5% of the respective national total.

Action 12: Biodiversity in forest management plans

Forest ecosystems

Mainland Portugal

The national legal system provides a framework for forest planning and management that includes 3 levels:

  • I. Regional Forest Management Plans (PROF) are sectorial policy instruments for the regional level. They are binding to administrative authorities at all levels.
  • II. Forest Management Plans (PGF) are tools for managing forest areas at the unit/holding level, according to the guidelines defined in the respective forest regional plan.
  • III. Specific Forest Intervention Plans (PEIF) are tools with specific intervention measures in forest areas with major biotic (e.g. invasive plants or pest or diseases outbreaks) or abiotic problems (e.g. very high risk of forest fire).

All publicly owned forests need a PGF and all community forest lands must have a PGF (or a plan for the utilization of community lands), prepared by the public administration.

Forest Management Plans are mandatory for privately owned forests when they:

  • meet the area conditions of their PROF;
  • integrate Forest Intervention Zones and, in this case, or they adopt the plan of the whole Zone or they have a specific PGF.
  • are granted public financial support (EU or other) for forest management or afforestation. This was compulsory for all projects until February 2014. Since then it became mandatory only for projects with areas above the ones defined in their PROF.

In these cases PGF are prepared by the management entity and approved by the national forest authority.

When the forest holding overlaps with a Natura 2000 site or a national level Protected Area, the PGF must include a Biodiversity Management Program (BMP) to ensure the compatibility and contribution of the forest management to the conservation of protected species and habitats. Guidance was produced to support the land owners and forest managers.

Roughly, around 25% of the area under PGF fall within the national system of classified areas (protected areas, Natura 2000 sites and others, e.g. Biosphere Reserves, Ramsar sites, etc.) and therefore include a BMP.

At the end of 2013, over 200000 ha of forest were certified under PEFC system and over 300000 ha under FSC system.

In Madeira Autonomous Region the Forest Inventory (IFRAM1) integrates biodiversity indicators in particular the characterization of the structure of vegetation which the laurel forest, and the analysis of their specific diversity.

The awareness, advice and technical guidance of the main actors on biodiversity issues have received special attention in forest investments. Forestry projects have contributed to the control of invasive species and to the increase of biodiversity.

In the Region the following ones are considered Forest Areas of High Natural Value:

  • ZEC PTMAD0001 – Laurel forest of Madeira: 15367 ha;
  • ZEC PTMAD0002 – Central Mountain Massif of Madeira Island: 6224 ha;
  • ZEC PTPOR0002 – Pico Branco - Porto Santo: 127 ha.

In Azores Autonomous Region the PGF must promote, among others, the soil and hydrological network protection, the biodiversity conservation and the production of timber.

In the rural development programme of the action Valorization of the sustainable use of forest land was composed by the measures:

  • Natura 2000 payments in forest lands;
  • Forest-environmental payments, in response to increased demand for ecosystem services;
  • Support to non-productive investments;
  • Support to restoring forestry potential and introducing of prevention measures.

A management model that enables a regional standard for forest certification through the FSC system is being implemented. A Best Practices Manual for the Forest Management on Azores was produced.

In Madeira Autonomous Region the ISOPlexis Germoplasm Bank has contributed to reduce the loss of the genetic diversity of cultivars plants. Identification, collection and testing of regional varieties of actions were undertaken.

In Azores Autonomous Region the rural development programme has financially supported the conservation of traditional orchards of the Azores and the protection of the autochthonous land race “Ramo Grande”. In 1996 the total number of adult bovine of “Ramo Grande” was 227. Currently it is greater than 1900.

In mainland Portugal, Integrated Territorial Interventions, under the Rural Development Programme and preventive regulations (such as environmental assessment procedures and Habitats and Birds Directives) are in force.

EU target 4

Ensure the sustainable use of fisheries resources and ensuring good environmental status of the marine environment

Aquaculture production

Fresh waters ecosystems

Aquaculture with freshwater species is residual, with a decreasing trend. The development of aquaculture activities in fresh water in RN2000 and Protected Areas depends on licensing, which ensures compatibility between conservation objectives and exploration units.

Marine and coastal ecosystems

In mainland Portugal the aquaculture production has increased with 10,317 tonnes in 2012, 12.2% more than in 2011. The production of fish (60%) and bivalve molluscs (40%) in brackish and marine waters corresponds to 95.4% of the total production.

In Protected Areas, aquaculture development with marine species is accompanied by ICNF, I.P., in the Inspection Commission. Compliance of the aquaculture management with the protected area conservation objectives is ensured by this procedure and through regular visits to exploration units.

Action 13: Fish stock management

The goals of the National Strategic Plan for Fisheries 2007-2013 are:

- Ensuring the sustainable exploitation of living aquatic resources, adjusting the levels of fishing effort to obtain the maximum sustainable yield, diversifying the techniques and methods of production and promoting the quality of production, ensuring that biological limits are not exceeded for each fishing resource and that the quotas set by the common fisheries policy (CFP) at the EU level are respected;

- Promote a development of fisheries production compatible with environmental preservation and with the remaining uses of the marine environment and living resources;

- Protect sensitive habitats and marine species from destructive fishing practices.

Several measures were taken in reaction to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) having considered below safe biological limits the stocks of sardine (Sardina pilchardus), monkfish, hake (Merluccius merluccius) and Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus). In 2013, the impact of the measures under the Management Plan for Fisheries Sardine allowed a rapid recovery of biomass and increased recruitment, and the certification by the Marine Stewardship Council, regarding sustainable sardine fishery was recovered. The Recovery Plan for Hake, adopted by Regulation (EC) 2166/2005 of 20 December, seeks to recover by 2016, the stock of hake to a spawning biomass of 35 tons. The biomass of the stock of hake has increased, having reached 21,000 tons in 2012.

The Marine Strategy for mainland subdivision establishes a set of goals, five of which relate to the sustainable exploitation of resources:

  • Recover the biomass levels of sardine stock;
  • Recover the biomass levels of hake stock;
  • Explore in a sustainable way the stock of Angler;
  • Explore in a sustainable way the stock of four spots megrim;
  • Explore in a sustainable way the stock of shortfin mako.

Action 14: Adverse impacts on fish stocks, species, habitats and ecosystems

The National Strategy for the Sea (ENM) presents the vision of Portugal for the period 2013-2020, with a development model based on the conservation and sustainable use of resources and services of marine ecosystems.

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) (2008/56/EC) states that to achieve good environmental status of the marine environment, Member States shall draw up marine strategies for the marine waters under national sovereignty or jurisdiction.

The marine waters of Portugal are part of the region of the Northeast Atlantic and the sub-region of the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast.

Portugal has defined four marine strategies for the continent's subdivisions, the Extended Continental Shelf, the Azores and Madeira.

The Marine Strategy for the subdivision of the continent features the environmental state of the sea in Portugal and the impacts of socio-economic activities (fishing, aquaculture or maritime transport and port activities). 14 targets are established to be achieved by 2020.

Ordinance 114/2014 of 28th May, creates more favorable conditions for the protection of the seabed from the adverse impacts of fishing activity, by banning the use and keeping on board of fishing gear likely to cause negative impacts on deep sea ecosystems, and by requiring the registration and communication on captured sponges and corals. Bottom trawling and bottom gillnets are prohibited to the national fleet, in an area of over 2 million square kilometers of the North Atlantic Ocean, which include areas of the EEZ and extended continental shelf of Portugal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This legislation complements the EU regulation (EC) No 1568/2005.

Bycatch of seabirds and marine mammals during fishing activities has been one of the concerns of SAFESEA projects - Sustainable local fisheries and promotion of a safe sea for cetaceans (with the support of the EEA Grants) and MarPro (co-financed by LIFE).

Protection zones, Professional Fishing Areas and Fishing Concessions were created in fresh inland waters, with specific regulations for sustainable fisheries.

Measures (fishing ban, ban use as live bait, migration windows, closed seasons, fishing effort reduction, strengthening fishing of alien species) were taken to manage inland fisheries for the following species Cobitis calderoni, Cobitis palúdica, Alosa Alosa, Alosa fallax, Petromyzon marinus, Anguilla anguilla and Anaecypris hispanica.

The following projects deserve to be mentioned:

  • POCI FISHPASS - Migratory ecology of iberian inland fishfauna and improvement of fish pass performance;
  • BIOMANIPULAÇÃO - Angling in reservoirs of the center and south of Portugal: Contribution of biomanipulation for the reduction of eutrophication;
  • ALBUFEIRAS – Ecological quality and Integrated Management of Reservoirs;
  • AQUARIPORT – National programme for monitoring fish resources and evaluating the ecological quality of rivers;
  • National Fish Charter.

In the Azores, Protected Areas with marine areas are tools for the conservation of natural resources and marine ecosystems. Capture and trade in marine species subject to exploitation is regulated.

The Azorean fishing fleet is small scale, with characteristics that limit the autonomy and type of fishing technology that can be used and operates in an artisanal regime. It is subject to regional, national and EU legislation, measures to reduce bycatch, sustainable fishing methods, stock management measures, establishment of catch limits, fishing quotas and minimum capture sizes for some species.

The elasmobranch catches of Azores (ICES sub-area X) are mostly bycatch. For the protection of these species, the capture of deep water sharks is prohibited in the Azores since 2010 (Reg (EC) No 1359/2008).

EU target 5

Combat Invasive Alien Species

A report was prepared summarizing the actions and projects (including the legal framework) on alien species in Portugal during 2011 to 2012.

The following projects are ongoing in mainland Portugal:

  • LIFE+ BRIGHT - Bussaco´s Recovery from Invasions Generating Habitat Threats (2011 until 2016).
  • LIFE+ Biodiscoveries - Invasive species control through public participation (2014 until 2019).
  • LIFE+ Trachemys – Techniques for the eradication of alien turtles (2011 until 2013).
  • LIFE+ INVASEP - Combating Invasive Species within the Tagus and Guadiana River Basins in the Iberian Peninsula (2012-2016).

Control and eradication of invasive plants and the restoration of natural ecosystems continues in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, particularly in PA, accompanied by awareness raise next to local communities, managers and users of natural spaces and others involved in the sector of production and sale of plants.

Actions to eradicate invasive mammals has allowed vegetation to increase in targeted areas and the reappearance of characteristic plant species, a reduction in predation of “freira-do-bugio” eggs (Pterodroma deserted) and an increase of abundance and distribution area of the terrestrial mollusc Idiomela subplicata.

Actions to eradicate invasive alien species are foreseen in the LIFE projects: Ilhéus do Porto Santo, RECOVER NATURA, Fura-bardos and Maciço Montanhoso.

The Handbook of good Practices for Rodent Control was developed in the Azores Autonomous Region, in 2012, and technical requirements of integrated control plans were published. Control of invasive plants in sensitive areas of all islands of the Azores continues. From 2011 until 2013 about 1200 ha were subject to interventions.

EU target 6

Help avert global biodiversity loss

The National Strategy for Nature Conservation and Biodiversity (ENCNB) was adopted by the Council of Ministers Resolution 152/2001 of 11 October. In its lifetime, between 2001 and 2010, ENCNB was a strategic tool of great importance at national level with three main objectives:

  • Conserve nature and biodiversity, including the notable elements of geology, geomorphology and paleontology;
  • Promote the sustainable use of biological resources;
  • Contribute to the achievement of the objectives pursued by international cooperation processes in the area of nature conservation in which Portugal is involved, in particular the objectives set out in CBD;

Ten Strategic Options operationalize the mentioned goals, each yielding a set of Action Directives, of which some had deadlines and identified actors.

The implementation of ENCNB 2001-2010 was evaluated in 2009 and is currently under review following the results of this evaluation and relevant developments at international level such as the adoption of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and EU biodiversity strategy 2020.

The national targets to be set in the context of ENCNB the review will take into account the EU Targets set out in its biodiversity strategy 2020 and consistently with the priorities and objectives of the reform of the common agricultural and fisheries policies on environment and biodiversity, and of cohesion policy for the EU in 2014-2020.

Although the validity of ENCNB ceased in 2010, some of its goals will continue to be pursued.

National and regional level Synergies with other Agreements and Conventions in the implementation of the CBD

In Portugal, the competences related to global or regional conventions on biodiversity (CBD, CITES, Ramsar Convention, CMS, EUROBATS, AEWA, ACCOBAMS, Bern Convention) are mainly concentrated in a single administration body (ICNF, IP), which facilitates synergies in their implementation. The implementation of the UNCCD is also the responsibility of the ICNF, IP.

Regarding the UNFCCC, Portugal adopted in 2010 the Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change. Biodiversity is one of nine priority sectors identified. Between 2010 and 2013 efforts focused on identifying impacts and in the definition of adaptation measures. In 2013 the first progress report on the implementation of this strategy was developed.

In the RAA, Regional Decree Law 15/2012/A, of April 2nd, transposes international and EU policy, promoting and strengthening synergies between various international conventions on biodiversity, especially the Convention on Biological Diversity, Bern, Bonn and Ramsar, and also establishes the necessary measures for compliance with and implementation of CITES and associated Regulations, the EUROBATS and AEWA in the Azores territory.

Action 17: Drivers of biodiversity loss

National Ecological Reserve

REN is a biophysical structure which integrates areas with ecological value and sensitivity or that are exposed and susceptible to natural hazards. It is a public utility restriction that limits the occupancy, use and transformation of soils to uses and actions consistent with its goals. Looking to improve its links with other legal regimes, REN's legal framework was revised in 2012. National and regional level policy guidance was approved including guidelines and criteria for the delimitation of REN areas at the municipal level.

Land-use Planning

The land-use planning policy (and associated regional development) is a key instrument for sectorial integration of biodiversity. Articulation between the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF, IP) and other entities in the elaboration of relevant territorial management instruments (IGT) is guaranteed by law. Until 2012 the former Institute for Nature Conservation and Biodiversity (ICNB, IP), followed the development of IGT whose territorial scope crossed with classified areas. Thereafter the ICNF, IP, started to follow all IGT which are not limited to urban areas.

Environmental Assessment

Environmental Assessment (EA) for programs and plans, under national legislation since 2007, is a powerful tool for integrating environmental concerns into other sectors, but its use is still far from efficient and its aims are not achieved yet. In 2010, ICNB, IP, established guidelines for the assessment of biodiversity in the EA of plans and programs, in accordance with the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (2001/42/EC) and national best practices. These guidelines include thematic indicators of integrity and coherence of RN2000 as well as of the National System of Classified Areas (SNAC), conservation status of species and habitats and the cumulative effects of plans or programs.

Environmental Impact Assessment

The ICNF, IP also elaborated specific guidelines for project EIA, aiming target groups or species. These guidelines include a set of mitigation and compensation measures that should be considered in the EIA process according to the type and level of predicted impacts of each project. Specific monitoring plans are often implemented as measures prescribed in the EIA. In this context, the MoBiA Project aims to evaluate how effective are (i) the approach of EIA with regard to biodiversity and (ii) the contribution of associated monitoring programs for a national monitoring network.

In the Autonomous Region of Madeira (RAM) biodiversity issues occupy a leading role in regional planning, integrating a number of strategic documents, regional plans, programs and policies. Land-use planning takes into account a set of mechanisms that trigger protection and safeguarding biodiversity. It is mandatory to observe a set of legislation related to protected and classified areas which include SACs and SPAs of RAM, the Natural Park of Madeira and Nature Reserves. Further, the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is always taken into account in SEA processes.

The Autonomous Region of Azores (RAA) has made efforts to integrate biodiversity into other sectorial policies (agriculture, forestry, rural development, tourism, etc.). The legal regime of nature conservation and biodiversity states that public policies should develop strategies, plans and programs for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and adapt to those purposes existing strategies, plans or programs which shall reflect, inter alia, the relevant measures set out in CBD, and integrate, as appropriate, the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity plans, programs and sectorial or cross-sectorial policies.

Biodiversity values are considered and integrated into operational programs such as the Rural Development Programme (PRORURAL) where rural development involves the enhancement of environmental area.

The initiative "Partnership for Sustainable Development" was developed, a partnership program between Natural Parks of the Island (PNI) and regional companies to disseminate the natural values and promote an economic development compatible with biodiversity conservation.

Biodiversity concerns have been integrated in land management and planning instruments to prevent likely changes related to urbanization, infrastructure, accessibility, tourism, mining and quarrying, recreation and leisure. The integration of biodiversity concerns in the context of regional land-use planning is done through the development of the land management system.

At the stage of admissibility of applications to the Azores Operational Programme for Convergence (PROCONVERGENCIA), in the 2007-2013 period, procedures to verify environmental norms conformity were applied. In Incentive Scheme for the Regional Development of Azores, while analyzing applications, and whenever they contemplate environmental issues, the opinion of the Regional Direction of the Environment is requested and decisive regarding the eligibility of the application. During checks and monitoring actions compliance with national and Community legislation is verified, in particular, compliance with environmental norms.

Regional and local level

Biodiversity values and concert have also been integrated into development strategies and regional and local planning processes in mainland Portugal. As an example, we present information on North and Alentejo regions.

In the Northern Region of Portugal the importance given to biodiversity issues has evolved positively. A broad range of initiatives, aimed at the conservation of nature and biodiversity, some of which are funded by the EU, are promoted by local authorities, universities, regional development associations, citizens' associations and NGOs.

Examples of ongoing projects, include:

  • Project of 100,000 trees in Porto Metropolitan Area - an initiative of the CRE Porto (Regional Centre of Excellence in Education for Sustainable Development of the Porto Metropolitan Area);
  • Campaign 50 Endangered Green Spaces and 50 Green Spaces to preserve in Porto Metropolitan Area - an initiative of the Association Campo Aberto, covering nine counties.

In Alentejo, the elaboration of the Regional Plan for Land-use Planning (PROTAlentejo) was articulated with the provisions of other statutory and territorial management instruments in particular the National Strategy for the Conservation of Nature and Biodiversity (ENCNB) and the Special Plans of Land-use Planning (PEOT), such as Land-use Plans of Protected Areas and the Natura 2000 Network Sectorial Plan (PSRN2000).

At the local level, the implementation of delimitation guidelines of regional environmental protection and enhancement structures (ERPVA) for municipal ecological networks, the implementation of measures contained in PSRN2000, Agenda 21 processes and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) are important measures for integrating the objectives of nature conservation and biodiversity policies.

In 2013, the value of environmentally related taxes in Portugal was 4494 million euros, a decrease of 10.7% compared to 2012 and the lowest value since 2006. From 2006 until 2012 there was a reduction in tax revenue from environmental taxes, estimated at over 1.6 billion euros, mainly due to the decrease in revenue from taxes on energy and on transport, of which the tax on oil and energy products and car tax / vehicle tax (ISV) are the most relevant.

Also in 2013, and as in previous years, most of the revenue resulted from energy taxes (49%), of which stands out the tax on oil and energy products, followed by pollution taxes (31%), coming almost exclusively from the tobacco tax. Taxes on transportation (shared between car tax and the single circulation tax) accounted for 19% of revenues, while taxes on resources (hunting and fishing licenses and the rate of water resources) totaled only 1% of the total revenue collected.

Decrease in revenues from environmentally related taxes, coupled with the increase in tax revenue and the nominal increase of the Gross Domestic Product during 2013, made the weight of Environmentally related taxes in total tax revenues and social contributions decrease from 11.8% in 2006 to 7.7% in 2013. Similarly, the weight of environmentally related taxes in GDP decreased from about 4% in 2006 to 2.6% in 2013.

Recently the Parliament approved a draft Law on Green Taxation Reform, which aims to "promote a new taxation framework by developing mechanisms for the internalization of environmental externalities" in a tax neutral basis.

In Autonomous Region of Madeira under the PRODERAM, Natura 2000 payments to compensate beneficiaries for the additional costs and loss of income resulting from the application of the Birds and Habitats Directives and the agri-environment payments have provided positive incentives for the conservation and use sustainable biodiversity.

In Autonomous Region of Azores since agriculture is the dominant economic activity, incentives are granted for the conservation of biodiversity by EAFRD through the PRORURAL. Support is provided for reducing or eliminating the use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, to reduce the stock density, to maintain areas with native vegetation, conserve traditional orchards of the Azores and to protect the autochthonous breed Ramo Grande.

The legal regime of nature conservation and biodiversity creates additional regional mechanisms to compensate landowners and farmers in areas covered by the application of the Birds and Habitats Directives, contributing to the effective management of RN2000, establishing technical and financial support for the maintenance and recovery of biodiversity, in particular for the maintenance and recovery of relevant habitats for biodiversity protection, priority protected species, afforestation and reforestation of Protected Areas and buffer strips of watercourses and maintenance and rehabilitation of protected areas classified as protected landscape.

Action 18: Resources for global biodiversity conservation

As regards the international aspect of resource mobilization, over the last years and until the beginning of 2014, Portuguese cooperation directed its activities in accordance with the provisions of the "Strategic Vision for Portuguese Cooperation" approved by Council of Ministers Resolution 196/2005 of 22nd December which defines the following fundamental principles:

  • Historic and cultural relationship with Portuguese Speaking African Countries (PALOP) and Timor-Leste;
  • Promotion of portuguese language;
  • Strengthening of Portugals’ role in international coordination mechanisms.

Portuguese development cooperation has recently undergone changes with emphasis on the merge of the Portuguese Institute for Development Aid (IPAD) and the Instituto Camões, completed in July 2012, and the subsequent reorganization and rationalization of services, and creation of Camões Institute for Cooperation and Language (Camões, IP).

Decree-Law 21/2012 of 30th January, establishing the Camões, IP, ensures the maintenance of the principles, rules and procedures, organization and management of portuguese cooperation, thereby keeping it in the service of promoting the development of partner countries. The search for efficiency, mutual accountability and a results oriented management underlie the functioning of the new institution.

In the period 2010-2013, coordination efforts by country were anchored in Indicative Cooperation Programmes (PIC) in order to prevent dispersion. PIC remained as the main instrument of Portuguese cooperation with partner countries (PALOP and Timor-Leste, mostly Least Developed Countries and fragile states), ensuring alignment and aid predictability.

As a Member State of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD, Portugal accounts for its ODA according to the statistical report policies of development finance flows, according to the CRS format (Creditor Reporting System) and applies the Rio markers, namely the marker environment and the biodiversity marker.

Between 2010 and 2012, the evolution of Portuguese ODA maintained a generally positive trend. Although still with preliminary figures, it has decreased in 2013 compared to 2010. The period of public deficit control and fiscal consolidation along with the fact that Portugal was, in a big part of the period under review, under an Economic and Financial Assistance Programme explains this decrease.

In terms of sectors, the priorities of the Portuguese Cooperation obey two fundamental criteria: the first reflects the priorities established by the partner countries in their national development strategies. The second criteria results from the added value of Portuguese Cooperation which gives Portugal specific potential, especially with regard to common language and history, thus pointing to a concentration in the areas of education and training, and institutional capacity building, from the enhancement of administrative capacity to the promotion of good governance.

This prioritization justifies the low values of environmental ODA and biodiversity ODA in the face of total ODA. Between 2010 and 2013 environmental ODA varied between 14.7% and 8.1% while biodiversity ODA was between 1.1% and 0.6% of total ODA.

Portuguese cooperation has been making an effort to improve ODA values related to environment and biodiversity through a set of actions, among which:

  • Strengthening the application of the biodiversity marker, which aims to qualify ODA with regard to the implementation of CBD objectives;
  • Integrate environmental issues in development cooperation, and in this regard the creation of the Network of Portuguese-Speaking Countries for Impact Assessment was supported in 2010 and training activities were conducted with partners of PALOP and East Timor and Portuguese cooperation personnel, including from the most relevant ministries with regard to EIA and SEA;
  • In September 2010, support was provided to the workshop on CITES for CPLP partners;
  • In 2013 new rules for applications and new criteria for analysing, Programmes, Projects and Actions (PPA) to be financed by the Portuguese cooperation were promoted in order to integrate environmental issues, including biodiversity

Under the Rio markers, Portugal does not apply any weighting system. To the whole Portuguese bilateral ODA the marker biodiversity is applied, so it can be assumed that the remaining bilateral aid was examined in the light of the biodiversity marker and was considered not oriented to the objectives of the CBD.

Since March 7, 2014 is the Strategic Concept of Portuguese Cooperation is in force, approved by Council of Ministers Resolution 17/2014, it is the guiding document of Portuguese cooperation for the period 2014-2020. This document takes into account the changes that have taken place at international level within the framework of development cooperation, seeking to provide guidance on necessary adjustments, ensuring continuity on the main priorities and added value of Portuguese Development Cooperation and promoting compliance with commitments made at international level.

Action 20: Access to genetic resources and sharing of benefits

Portugal took part in the negotiations within the CBD and the EU which led to the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol in 2010. In January 2010, an ABS focal point was nominated. In January 2011, the same person was assigned to accumulate the Focal Point functions for the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol was signed by Portugal on 20th September 2011.

In June 2012, among others, the ICNF, IP was mandated to "propose regulations on access to wild genetic resources and sharing of benefits arising from their utilization and promote the application of the resulting legal and administrative regime in coordination with other competent authorities in this matter."

Since October 2012, Portugal was actively involved in the development of the EU Regulation on mandatory aspects of the Nagoya Protocol, namely on compliance by users of genetic resources.

With the adoption of Regulation (EU) 511/2014 on ABS, in April 14, 2014, the ICNF, IP, triggered the mechanisms leading to the conclusion of the Nagoya Protocol ratification process.

The EU Regulation on ABS enables Portugal to implement compliance measures of the Nagoya Protocol.

Notwithstanding, Portugal does not exclude the possibility of developing access measures in accordance with the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol. In order to establish an informed decision making process regarding the possibility of developing access measures and additional compliance measures to the ones provided for in the EU Regulation on ABS, an Inter-Ministerial Working Group on ABS was created with two main tasks:

  • Develop the terms of reference for a study on the impact of the development of national regime on access to genetic resources and sharing of benefits arising from their utilization, including the regulation of access to genetic resources under national jurisdiction and additional compliance measures with the Nagoya Protocol;
  • Propose the legal-administrative model for the implementation of Regulation (EU) 511/2014 on ABS, including the identification of responsibilities of the different bodies in the Public Administration.

Outcomes of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on ABS may lead to the development of additional legislation to the one which will have to be adopted in view of the proper application of Regulation (EU) 511/2014 in Portugal. In any case the work of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on ABS contributes to the operationalization and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in Portugal.