AZORES | Regional Secretariat for the Environment and Climate Change marks World Ranger Day with Regional Meeting on Santa Maria Island

© Governo dos Açores

The Regional Secretary for the Environment and Climate Change, Alonso Miguel, marked World Ranger Day this Monday, July 31, with the holding of a Regional Meeting of Nature Rangers on the island of Santa Maria.

At the beginning of the meeting, Alonso Miguel stressed that “Azorean Nature Watchers play a fundamental role in the monitoring and preservation of our natural heritage and are the first line of defence of the environmental quality of our islands, which is one of the main assets of the Region.” He also stressed “the importance of their work in the field of education and environmental awareness of the community, an absolutely fundamental aspect for changing attitudes and adopting environmentally sustainable habits and behaviours.”

The government official admitted that, for these reasons, “the Regional Government has been committed to improving the working conditions of these professionals, for example, with the acquisition of equipment and vehicles, but, above all, with the expansion of the nature rangers corps in the Region, so as to increase their operational capacity”.

“I would like to point out that, and as set out in the Programme of the XIII Government of the Azores, procedures are currently underway to hire another 12 staff members to the Nature Rangers Corps,” he assured.

The Secretary for the Environment stressed that “this Regional Meeting will take place for three days, including several initiatives, namely demonstrations of drone flights, recently acquired for each of the nine Island Environment and Climate Change Services, an investment of about 62 thousand Euros and which will also be available to the Nature Rangers teams.”

“With this equipment, we can guarantee an increase in efficiency in carrying out inspection and surveillance actions, especially in difficult-to-reach places, while also ensuring, with precision technology, the collection of high-quality images and videos, capable of generating three-dimensional and orthomosaic models. This will allow us to monitor the changes that may occur in our natural territory,” explained the Regional Secretary for the Environment.

According to Alonso Miguel, “there will also be visits to points of interest of the Santa Maria Geopark and Palaeopark as well as to the intervention areas of the various Life projects underway on the island, namely the Life IP AZORES NATURA, Life IP CLIMAZ and Life SNAILS projects.”

The last two days of the Regional Meeting are dedicated to first aid training in wild birds, with a theoretical and practical component, “providing our Nature Rangers with the knowledge to take action, as a first approach, in situations involving injured birds,” added the Regional Secretary.

A total of 38 Nature Rangers from all islands are participating in this Regional Meeting, which takes place between July 31 and August 2, for the first time on the island of Santa Maria. The event is also being attended by the Directors of the Environment and Climate Change Services and the heads of Island Natural Parks. The training in first aid for wild birds will be conducted by biologist Fábia Azevedo and veterinarian María Casero, from RIAS – Centre for the Recovery and Research of Wild Animals.

Mauricio De Jesus
Maurício de Jesus é o Diretor de Programação da Rádio Ilhéu, sediada na Ilha de São Jorge. É também autor da rubrica 'Cronicas da Ilha e de Um Ilhéu' que é emitida em rádios locais, regionais e da diáspora desde 2015.