"We are positioning ourselves for the next community support framework [2030] with projects to create a true green corridor on the Minho River, to take care of its banks or complete the circuit of ecovias, creating a greater relationship with the river and attracting tourism, and increasing its sustainability”, said Manoel Batista to Lusa, regarding the conference Rio Minho – The Transfrontier Green Corridor, which took place in Melgaço on Friday.

The president of that municipality in the district of Viana do Castelo explained that the event was intended to demonstrate the “ambition of the territory in relation to the Minho River”, aiming at “economic and social development, but also a strategy that takes care of the river”.

“We want to make the river Minho economically and environmentally sustainable”, he summarised, highlighting the joint work of the Alto Minho CIM with the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) Rio Minho and the Pontevedra deputation, in Galicia, Spain.

Manoel Batista added that “there are applications [for community funds] already made, awaiting approval” and “some projects still to apply”.

“This is a strategy with actions to implement the green corridor on the Minho River”, he indicated.

A natural border between Portugal and Spain, the international river rises at an altitude of 750 meters in the Serra de Meira, in the Autonomous Community of Galicia, and travels around 340 kilometers until it flows into the Atlantic Ocean, south of the town of A Guarda, in Galicia, and to the north in Caminha, district of Viana do Castelo.

During the conference, the Rio Minho 2030 Strategy was presented, outlined by a Galician/Portuguese multidisciplinary team coordinated by Professor Valerià Paül Carril, from the University of Santiago de Compostela.

The strategy was reoriented towards its integrated enhancement of the river and the “green and blue infrastructure it generates”, within the scope of “challenges determined by climate change - natural hazards, emergencies/civil protection, bio-invasions, ecological restoration, etc”, indicated.

“This will relate to economic activities directly linked to the Minho River, such as fishing, green tourism or agriculture”, he explained.

The EGTC Rio Minho was set up in 2018 and covers 26 municipalities: the 10 municipalities in the district of Viana do Castelo that make up the Intermunicipal Community (CIM) of Alto Minho and 16 Galician municipalities in the province of Pontevedra, connected to the Minho river.