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Natural Park Of Châ, Fogo

Fogo, Cape Verde

The Natural Park of Fogo is located in the central area of ​​the island of Fogo and consists of the Volcano, the Crater, the Bordeira and the forest perimeter of Monte Velha. It has an area of ​​8,468.5 hectares and is located at the confluence of the three municipalities on the island: S. Filipe, Santa Catarina and Mosteiros. The Fogo volcano that gives the island its name is 2,829 meters long, being the highest point in Cape Verde, and remains active, with a 8 km diameter caldera and opening to the east.

The Natural Park of Fogo was created by Decree-Law nº3 / 2003, of 24 February and delimited by Decree-Regulatory nº 3/2008, of 2 June. In this sense, in order to allow a sustainable management of the park, the Management Plan was created and approved through Resolution no. 20/2010, of 19 April.

This natural setting of Chã das Caldeiras, punctuated by an active volcano, has been inhabited and explored since the first quarter of the 20th century, benefited mainly by the use of water from the two springs called Fonte Velha and Fonte Nova, located in Boca Fonte, but also by soil quality inside the Boilers.

It should be noted that Chã das Caldeiras is a unique case of human settlement within the crater of an active volcano. The volcanic activities that periodically shape the landscape, compel man to adapt to the adversities imposed by nature. In this way, the capacity for resilience is manifested in traditional buildings, such as the funcos, a typical house in Chã das Caldeiras, which reminds one of the tribal dwellings in Africa.

The Natural Park of Fogo - Chã das Caldeiras, one of the largest protected areas in the country, which is part of the Cape Verde National Protected Areas Network, was inscribed on UNESCO's indicative list supported by criteria VIII and X

The Fogo Natural Park, due to its lithological and geomorphological characteristics, resembles the volcanic islands that make up Macaronesia, and which are located in areas with an extensive history of active volcanism, which constitutes a “geological hotspot”. In particular, it refers to the National Park of Teide, Canary Islands, Spain, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2007.

As volcanoes are testimonies of the great geological and geomorphological stages of the Atlantic islands, they have become spaces for international research references. Likewise, this comparison is evident in terms of the contrast of the landscape, on the one hand, lunar and on the other hand, green in a relatively limited area. The aspect that distinguishes the two landscapes comes down to anthropic issues, namely in the interaction of man with the environment, which has shaped, in a very striking way, the men and women of Chã.

This interaction goes beyond the physical aspect of occupation of the territory, entering, after each eruption, into a symbolic plane where the volcano appears as a friend in a complex balance only understandable by those from Chã das Caldeiras. This unique and singular relationship represents the authenticity and originality of Chã das Caldeiras.

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