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Natural Park Of Cova, Paúl And Ribeira Da Torre

Santo Antão, Cape Verde

The Natural Park of Cova, Paúl and Ribeira da Torre (PNCPRT) is located on the northern slope of the island of Santo Antão, more precisely in the northeast part, in an area where the three municipalities, Porto Novo, Ribeira Grande and Paul meet . The maximum altitude of the park is 1585 in the Pico da Cruz area.

The park is dominated in the highest areas, by a volcanic crater (Cova), by forested areas of Pinus, Eucalyptus and Grevillea, by protruding peaks and areas of escarpments and cliffs that end in deep valleys. the microclimate is favored by a set of factors such as altitude, slope exposure, hidden precipitation that help the development of various plants, namely, native vegetation and agricultural practice. In this way, the PNCPRT has sui generis characteristics, being, therefore, considered one of the most emblematic samples of humid mountain ecosystems on the island and one of the most relevant agricultural ecosystems in Cape Verde.

Its occupation started from the municipality of Ribeira Grande, at the end of the 16th century, this being the first population cluster on the island of Santo Antão. At the moment, approximately 350 households reside within the PNCPRT.

Since its occupation, a strong interaction between man and the physical environment has been developed within the PNCPRT, conditioned by the pronounced orography, with steep and protruding mountains, forcing man to adapt with ingenuity and thus forging a peculiar landscape that represents a perfect symbiosis between man, nature and sustainable development. As an example, we point out the construction of traditional houses, soil protection systems, irrigation infrastructures, back roads. Associated with these material aspects of the park is a strong intangible component expressed in traditional know-how and collective memory, namely, in the crafts made with local raw material (sisal, reed), in the transformation of agricultural products, mainly the production of grog, confection of goat cheese, liqueurs and sweets, traditional tales, work songs, traditional medicine with resources for endemic and medicinal herbs. This set of values ​​transmitted from generation to generation in a socio-cultural balance has allowed the conservation of the landscape's identity.

With regard to natural heritage, the PNCPRT has one of the most significant biodiversity centers in Cape Verde, with a cluster of considerable endemism and occurrence of in situ conservation.

The PNCPRT was registered in the Cape Verde Indicative List, based on the following criteria (v), (vii) and (x).

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