Translations of these materials into languages other than Portuguese are intended solely as a convenience to the non-Portuguese-reading public.

Any discrepancies or differences that may arise in translations of the official Portuguese versions of these materials are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes.

Decree Law No. 124/2019

Publication: Republic Diary No. 164/2019, Series I of 2019-08-28
  • Issuer: Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 124/2019
  • Pages: 60 - 118

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law amends the legal scheme of the National Ecological Reserve (REN).

It aims to ensure the most appropriate land use planning and the correct management and use of natural resources, in particular safeguarding the processes and cycles associated to the water resources.

The amendments carried out result from the needs felt regarding the land use planning, the ongoing context of climate change and the subsequent water scarcity, as well as regarding the evolution of the knowledge on the dynamics and functions which ensure the protection of the natural capital.

What is going to change?
    • It repositions the REN as a determinant instrument for the planning and management of the water resources within the context of climate change and extreme climate events, water scarcity and the risks associated to the coastal erosion and occurrence of floods.
    • The pertinence and topicality of the REN’s founding principles and goals are affirmed.
    • The REN’s scheme is adjusted to the geographic diversity of our territory, considering the uses and actions compatible with its protection.
    • The river basin is adopted as a physical unit for the planning and management of the water cycle’s land part.
    • The National Land Committee now presents, on an annual basis, to the Government member responsible for the land use planning area, a report with a critical assessment of the simplified alterations of the REN’s delimitation.
What advantages does it bring?

It clarifies the definitions and the delimitation criteria of the areas which are part of the REN, particularly allowing to:

    • Delimitate the dune systems, classifying them as coastal dunes or inland dunes;
    • Safeguard the headwaters as strategical areas for the water’s infiltration in the soil; and
    • Consider the soil conversation practices, such as the terraces in lands with great slopes, on the delimitation of the areas under a high water erosion risk.

Promotes a greater involvement of the national and regional entities on the definition and alteration of the REN’s delimitations.

When does it enter into force?

This decree-law enters into force on the day following its publication.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.