Discovering the region of Centro de Portugal through its wetlands can be a fascinating experience. This route crosses the most inspiring natural landscapes that strike us with their absolute uniqueness. Dazzling ecosystems, beautiful fauna and flora species and above all, the importance of water for the balance and sustainability of our planet.
Wetlands are transition areas between earth and water ecosystems that present characteristics of both environments. They actually stand in-between two worlds, providing them with unique features.
They are not entirely earth ecosystems, because they are covered in water; and they are not totally water systems, since they have soil. The fact of being wetlands favours the creation of a quite distinguishing vegetation.
These unique ecosystems offer habitat for several fauna and flora species, representing important spots of biological diversity, supplying water, food and shelter (Ramsar Convention Secretariat, 2013).
Some of the problems affecting contemporary societies, such as: pollution of water resources and floods, can be minimised through wetlands. Sediments, along with plants and related micro-organisms can retain several polluting agents, working as a water purifying system and improving the quality of water.
This week’s edition unveils the surprising beauty of Center of Portugal’s wetlands: Óbidos Lagoon, Natural Reserve of Paul do Boquilobo, Natural Reserve of Paul da Tornada, Paul do Taipal and Aveiro Lagoon.
“The value of water is about much more than its price – water has an enormous and complex value for our households, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource.” Nicolas Franke, Sustainable Development Officer at United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs