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SPEA is an Environmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.
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Management plan

The Management Plan of the ZPE Pico da Vara / Ribeira do Guilherme SPA was published in July 2005, coinciding with the visit of the. Ministry of Environment to the LIFE Priolo project, it is valid until December 2010 and it has as legal jurisdiction the limits of the SPA published in the Decreto Regulamentar Regional nº 9/2005/A April 19th.

The main objectives in developing the Management Plan of the Pico da Vara / Ribeira do Guilherme SPA are:

- To know and understand the place;

- To formulate the objectives to be accomplished by the management of the area;

- To identify the necessary management actions (activities, projects, working programs) to achieve the proposed objectives;

- To identify ways of monitoring necessary to ensure that the objectives are accomplished and that human, financial and technical resources are used effectively.

As stakeholders (partners and cooperative organizations) in the development of the Management Plan, the following organisations were invited and participated in the process (in alphabetical order):

  • Agricultural Development Services of São Miguel
  • Association for the Local Development in the Azores “Terra Mar”
  • Association of the Young Farmers of São Miguel
  • Azores University’s Conservation and Environmental Protection Centre
  • Ecological Association “Amigos dos Açores”
  • Energetic and Environmental Regional Agency of the Azores
  • Environmental Services of São Miguel
  • Forestal Services of Nordeste
  • Geography Section from the Biology Department of the University of the Azores
  • Local Development Association “Norte Crescente”
  • National Association for Nature Conservation “Quercus”
  • Nordeste City Hall
  • Povoação City Hall
  • Regional Secretary of Environment and Sea
  • Regional Direction of Education
  • Regional Direction of Public Construction and Terrestrial Transportation
  • Regional Direction of Land Use Management and Hidric Resources
  • Regional Direction of Forest Resources
  • Regional Direction of Tourism
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Rural Promotion and Development Association “ASDEPR”
Mission of the Management Plan

The Mission of the Management Plan, have been developed with the consent of the stakeholders and is as follows:

“To manage the habitats of the SPA Pico da Vara / Ribeira do Guilherme in a manner that is compatible with a sustainable future, guaranteeing the conservation of Priolo.”

General Objectives, Results and Activities of the Management Plan

General Objective n.º 1

The General Objective n.º 1 of the Management Plan, as well as all the Results (1.N) and Activities (1.N.X) associated to it, has been formulated by common consent of all participants as follows:

To create in 2005 a management structure that allows the implementation of this plan

1.1) Integration of SPA in the Regional Network of Protected Areas

1.1.1) Publication of the Management Plan of the SPA Pico da Vara / Ribeira do Guilherme by the end of 2005

1.1.2) Constitution of Pico da Vara / Ribeira do Guilherme Protected Area by the end of 2006

1.2) Management structure set up and the manager/coordinator of the SPA/Protected Area appointed

1.2.1) Creation of the technical office to support of the management of the SPA/PA

1.3) Creation of technical office to support of the management of the SPA/PA

1.3.1) Description of functional contents of the elements of the technical office that supports the management of the SPA/PA until the end of 2006

1.4) Financial resources to implement the Management Plan

1.4.1) Create items in the budgets of the organisations with competences and interests in the area included in the SPA/PA, to carry out the Management Plan

1.4.2) Gather together the necessary funds to the execution of the Management Plan, from the participating NGO’s.

1.5) Control Network of the area included in the SPA/PA implemented

1.5.1) Carry out the vigilance network of the area included in the SPA/PA

General Objective n. º 2

The General Objective n.º 2 has as main concern the need of the existence of a juridical framework that will definitely contribute to the maintenance of the biodiversity in general and to the reinforcement of Priolo and its particular habitat conservation.

The General Objective n.º 2 of the Management Plan, as well as all the Results (2.N) and Activities (2.N.X) associated to it, has been formulated by common consent of all participants as follows:

To ensure the existence of necessary legislation for the protection of the SPA

2.1) Management Plan published by the end of 2005

2.1.1) Identical to 1.1.1

2.2) Special Plan of Land Planning – Land Planning of the Protected Area published until the end of 2006

2.2.1) Identical to 1.1.2

2.3) Specific legislation on the introduction and control of exotic species

2.3.1) Publication of the specific Legislation on exotic species introduction by the end of 2006

2.3.2) Implementation of the financial framework of the application of the specific legislation  on  introduction of exotic species, by the end of 2006

2.3.3) Implementation of the control outline for application of specific legislation to control the transport and rearing of captive birds, by the end of 2008

2.4) Specific legislation on production in public nurseries of endemic species and exotic flora, published and implemented

2.4.1) Publication and implementation of specific legislation  on production on public nurseries of endemic and exotic flora, by the end of 2008

2.4.2) Implementation of the control outline of the specific legislation  on production in public nurseries of endemic and exotic flora, by the end of 2008

General Objective n.º 3

The General Objective n.º 3 has as main concern the need of increasing the area of Priolo’s habitat in the SPA Pico da Vara / Ribeira do Guilherme, so that survival capacity of the Priolo is reinforced, in a structural and feeding point of view.

The General Objective n.º 3 of the Management Plan, as well as all the Results (3.N) and Activities (3.N.X) associated to it, has been formulated by common consent of all the participants as follows:

To increase the area of suitable habitat for the Priolo in more than 300 hectares, whilst preserving the current area

3.1) Definition of priority areas for conservation by the end  of 2005

3.1.1) Definition of priority areas for intervention by the end  of 2005

3.2) Exotic invasive flora eradicated in more than 300 hectares from all the area included in the SPA and the adjacent area

3.2.1) Chemical and manual removal of the Hedychium gardneranum, Clethra arborea, Pittosporum undulatum and Gunnera tinctoria, in more than 300 hectares until the end  of 2010

3.2.2) Implementation of monitoring diagram for the chemical and manual elimination of Hedychium gardneranum, Clethra arborea, Pittosporum undulatum and Gunnera tinctoria in the worked area.

3.2.3) Yearly cartography of the areas where actions of eradication of exotic flora have been developed

3.2.4) Yearly monitoring of the physical and chemical properties of water and soil in areas where works have taken place.

3.3) Reproduction of enough endemic flora specimens in nurseries to fulfil the plantation needs in works of recovering of  Priolo’s habitat and the restoration of the degraded areas, deforested areas, roads and paths

3.3.1) Development of protocols for plantlet production in nurseries and seed collection in natural environment.

3.3.2) Annual production in nurseries of more than 50000 specimens of Erica azorica, Vaccinium cylindraceum, Juniperus brevifolia, Viburnum tinus ssp. subcordatum, Ilex perado ssp. azorica, Frangula azorica, Prunus lusitanica ssp. azorica and Picconia azorica

3.3.3) Annual collection of more than 200kg of seeds of Erica azorica, Frangula azorica, Laurus azorica, Picconia azorica, Ilex perado ssp. azorica, Vaccinium cylindraceum and Viburnum tinus ssp. subcordatum

3.4) Planting of endemic flora in more than 300 hectares within the SPA

3.4.1) Reforestation in more than 300 hectares within the SPA/PA by 2010, with specimens of the endemic species produced in nurseries Erica azorica, Juniperus brevifolia, Viburnum tinus ssp. subcordatum, Vaccinium cylindraceum, Ilex perado ssp. azorica, Picconia azorica, Laurus azorica, Frangula azorica and Prunus lusitanica ssp. azorica

3.4.2) Cutting down of an area of over 10 hectares of timber forest, followed by the plantation with specimens of endemic species produced in the nurseries Erica azorica, Juniperus brevifolia, Viburnum tinus ssp. subcordatum, Vaccinium cylindraceum, Ilex perado ssp. azorica, Picconia azorica, Laurus azorica, Frangula azorica and Prunus lusitanica ssp. azorica, until the end  of 2008

3.4.3) Annual mapping of the cleared and replanted area

3.4.4) Traffic Control in the ER n. º 1 – 2ª Tronqueira, using signals

3.4.5) Annual cleaning and maintenance of the road margins of the ER n. º 1 – 2ª Tronqueira

General Objective n.º 4

The General Objective n.º 4 has as main concern the need for communication to a wide cross section of the public information about the conservation of the Priolo and its habitat, by the organisation, implementation and collaboration in educative and awareness activities..

The General Objective n.º 4 on the Management Plan, as well as all the Results (4.N) and Activities (4.N.X) associated to it ,has been formulated by common consent of all participants as follows:

To guarantee the support and collaboration of local population and visitors for the protection of the Priolo

4.1) Priolo adopted as the symbol of São Miguel

4.1.1) Production of disclosure materials and touristic promotion of the island of São Miguel with explicit references to the Priolo and the SPA/PA, by the end of 2010

4.1.2) Production of a new informative brochure of the SPA by the end of 2005

4.1.3) Production of an informative poster of the SPA byl the end of 2005

4.1.4) Layout of the material described in 4.1.2 and 4.1.3 in the Information Desk of Ponta Delgada, by the end of 2005

4.1.5) Accomplishment, every 5 years from 2005, of an opinion study to evaluate the awareness of the population of the RAA towards the Priolo and its habitat

4.1.6) Production of official material for the municipalities containing the SPA, Nordeste and Povoação, with a clear reference to the Priolo, by the end  of 2010

4.1.7) Production of merchandising materials about the Priolo, to be distributed and sold to the public, by the end of 2008

4.2) Themed material about the Priolo and its habitat to be created and integrated into the educational program of regional schools: Elementary, Secondary and Professional schools of the RAA

4.2.1) Production of a Environmental Education Handbook about the Priolo and its habitat, by the end of 2006

4.2.2) Production of an interactive CD-Rom with Environmental Education games about the Priolo and its habitat, by the end of 2006

4.3) Thematic activities about the Priolo and its habitat implemented in schools of Elementary, Secondary and Professional Education in the RAA

4.3.1) Organisation, by the end of 2006, of an interschool contest of poster production , addressed to all the schools of the island of São Miguel, with the theme of “The Priolo and its habitat”

4.3.2) Free distribution of all described materials in 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 to all the schools of São Miguel, by the end  of 2006

4.4) Creation of an Environmental Interpretation Centre within the autority of the SPA

4.4.1) Determination of the site for the Environment Interpretation Centre, by the end of 2006

4.4.2) Definition of the project for the implementation and operation of the Environment Interpretation Centre, by the end of 2006

4.5) Importance of the Priolo and its habitat raised by the participation in the festivities of Nordeste and Povoação

4.5.1) Annual participation of the Summer Festivities of Nordeste, through expositions, until the end of 2008

4.5.2) Annual participation on the Summer Festivities of Povoação, through expositions, until the end of 2008

4.5.3) Travelling exposition produced before the festivities of summer 2006

4.6) Thematic contents about the Priolo and its habitat available to Social Communication

4.6.1) Annual publication of reports of the developed activities and the obtained results, in the boundary of the SPA/PA

4.6.2) Annual production of the “Days of the Priolo”

4.6.3) Creation of a monthly electronic journal of the Priolo, until the end  of 2005

4.6.4) Creation of a press kit by the end  of 2006

4.7) Regulation of the Tourism Activity in the Area within the SPA

4.7.1) Regulation of tourism and leisure activities in the area included in the SPA/PA

4.7.2) Provision of signs with information about the Priolo along the touristic tracks within the SPA, by the end of 2006

4.7.3) Training of qualified technical-scientific support guides for the walks performed in the tourist tracks in the area included in the SPA, by the end of 2008

4.7.4) Production of communication and information material about the Tourist Tracks existing in the area included in the SPA

General Objective n.º 5

The General Objective n.º 5 has as main concern the need of promoting land planning and organization of the economic activities in the area included in the SPA, with the objective of a sustainable development based on the balance and compatibility of the conservation of the Priolo and its habitat with socio-economical growth of the councils directly or indirectly influenced by the Protected Area.

The General Objective n.º 5 of the Management Plan, as well as all the Results (5.N) and the Activities (5.N.X) associated to it, has been formulated by common consent of all participants as follows:

Make compatible the economic activities developed in the area within the SPA with Priolo’s conservation.

5.1) Exploitation Plan for the Productive Forest of the area within the SPA and the adjacent areas, developed by the end of 2005

5.1.1) Development and Publication of the Exploitation Plan for the Productive Forest of the area included in the SPA and the adjacent areas, elaborated by the end of 2005

5.1.2) Identical to 1.1.2

5.1.3) Monitoring of the evolution of the forest activity in the area included in the SPA and the area around it, through mapping every 5 years from 2005

5.2) Increase of the planted area of traditional fruit species within the SPA, by more than 3 hectares, by the end of 2010

5.2.1) Planting of a pasture area greater than 3 hectares with traditional fruit species, by 2010

General Objective n.º 6

The General Objective n.º 6 has as main concern the promotion of research projects related to the Priolo and its habitat, providing the conditions for the reception of investigators and the creation of a research strategy.

The General Objective n.º 6 of the Management Plan, as well as all the Results (6.N) and the Activities (6.N.X) associated to it, has been formulated by common consent of all participants as follows:

Applied research into the factors that influence the structure of the natural vegetation, the distribution and abundance of exotic species and their influence on the Priolo

6.1) Environmental Interpretation Centre provided with a structure of support to the applied research

6.1.1) Identical to 4.4.1

6.1.2) Identical to 4.4.2

6.1.3) Provide the essential infrastructure for the reception of people and accommodation of researchers in the Environmental Interpretation Centre

6.2) Applied research into the factors that influence the structure of the natural vegetation, the distribution and the abundance of exotic species and their influence on the Priolo

6.2.1) Publication and disclosure of the Biannual Plan of Activities and Investigation of the Environmental Interpretation Centre, from 2006

6.3) Monitoring species and the habitat of interest to the conservation of nature

6.3.1) Annual census of the species Pyrrhula murina, from 2005

6.3.2) Biannual census of the species Columba palumbus ssp. azorica, from 2005

6.3.3) Annual production of the study of the density of rats, from 2005

6.3.4) Development of the studies of fructification and regeneration of rare endemic plants

Since the development and publication of the Management Plan of the SPA, the SPEA has energized the implementation of this management tool with the active contribution of all the organisations with responsibilities and interests in the realization of the programmed activities necessary to fulfill the main mission: “To manage the habitats of the SPA Pico da Vara / Ribeira do Guilherme in a manner that is compatible with a sustainable future, guaranteeing the conservation of Priolo.”



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