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Nº 134 – Something that’s more important than money.
A first-hand report by Uwe Heitkamp

A first-hand report by Uwe Heitkamp

Saturday 17th September 2022. Less is more. The particular, the fact of having less water available presumably spells more thirst. In times of climate crisis, living with this and managing this resource is turning in to an art form and an exercise in humility. All summer long, every evening I’d provide hundreds of trees with water. There is a deeper meaning behind this. The regreening of my little world is something close to my heart. Now the source of the brook on my property fell dry in the early summer. If it wasn’t for the municipal water I could say …

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Nº 131 – Prevention is the best form of protection for the forest

Saturday the 6th of August 2022. Last Saturday, 30 July, ECO123 publicly presented its sprinkler system for the prevention of forest fires. There’s a long story behind this whole process. California has already been constantly devastated by fires, but now they’re also happening with alarming regularity in France, Australia, Italy, Germany, and, of course, Portugal and Spain. Over the last few weeks, there have been some extremely serious forest fires in Europe. Have we already entered the Torrid Age of climate change? ECO123 online has long been concerned about the theme of forest fires and our website offers practical tips …

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Nº 129 – Water

Saturday 9th July 2022. … is a resource that’s becoming ever more scarce. Let me tell you about something that happened a while ago, something that ended in major marital strife. People will of course argue about everything and anything. Not only money issues, simple showering too can spell the end of a friendship… So what was the mishap? Picture a woman standing under the shower, her partner wasn‘t at home at that moment. So there she was, fully lathered up, and suddenly, there was no more water coming out of the shower head… In the city, you see, no-one …

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Nº 128 – Cooperation instead of Competition.

Saturday 25th June 2022. Nothing is just simply black and white or a linear affair running in straight lines. Nearly every action, every product creates waste or CO2 at some stage in its life, or indeed winners and losers: the rich are becoming richer, the poor are becoming poorer. Biodiversity across all habitats on our planet is decreasing, and this is something we are keeping an eye on at every step of our journalistic work. Which is exactly why at ECO123 we operate differently, from the bottom up and with an awareness of the circular nature of our economy. When …

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Nº 127 – 18 years later…

Saturday the 11th june 2022. Eighteen years ago, when we planted saplings in various beds and across different mountainous terraces of our plot of land, we weren’t yet familiar with the concept of the Miyawaki Forest, named after the Japanese botanist and plant ecologist Professor Akira Miyawaki (1928-2021, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_Miyawaki). In 2004, when we received a donation of 5,000 different species of trees after the forest fire here in Monchique (11 September 2003) we were looking for a temporary space to keep these 15-cm saplings. I’m talking about oaks, alder, ash, linden, beech and carob trees, as well as umbrella pines …

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Thank you

  In the night of Sunday, 5 August 2018, a swath of fire crawled over the Picota peak, from the north to the south of the Algarve, up the entire mountain and back again, destroying our beautiful mixed forest and gardens in Esgravatadouro near Caldas de Monchique on the southern side. Friends helped us fight the fire with buckets and hoses. Some of the fires would keep flaring up, but we didn’t give in nor did we accept to be evacuated. When the police did evacuate us we returned half an hour later to continue fighting the fire. No fire …

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Nº 116 – Climate protection in Esgravatadouro – Caldas de Monchique
Why not become an active member of our Botanic Forest Garden

Saturday 27th November 2021. When winter arrives in the Monchique mountains, all life slows down a little, and the first rains turn the soil humid. Every year, at exactly this time we start planting our new biodiverse mixed forest on the areas destroyed by a forest fire in 2018: a major challenge and a present to the generations coming after us. In our own little nursery we have taken out time to prepare the many different seedlings for this moment, raising them over two, three or more years in planting pots. Now is the time to gift every little tree …

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Nº 105 – Minimising the Risk of Forest Fires.
An essay by Uwe Heitkamp

Saturday 18th September 2021. By now every serious democratic candidate has been given the chance to air their views on the forest fires in a 30-minute unscripted interview. Their replies to the question of what they are intending to do to break the cycle of forest fires in Monchique, or to stop them altogether, makes it look as if they didn’t really have a solution in mind. José Chaparro, Bruno Estremores, João Duarte and Paulo Alves are the four candidates who all want to become mayor, and all of them still have a real chance to make this happen. Unless …

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Nº 97 – Will we be able to change our attitude towards nature?

Saturday the 24th July 2021 Avoiding emissions, reducing our footprint… – life today is really a lot about mindfulness. Mindfulness? asks one of ours volunteers who comes in on a Friday morning to water the trees she looks after in the Botanical Garden. What is it I should be mindful of? The birds in the forest, for instance. Listen to this nightingale over there singing its song. Remember its song, make it your own. This, claims 84-year-old German professor Gernot Böhme*, is to find art in ecology. Böhme is virtually unknown in Portugal to date, his many books not available …

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Come and plant your tree… Crowdfunding www.eco123.info

Annual subscription: now only €15 down from €18   Planting a tree reduces your CO2 footprint. Our 2025 goal is ‘Zero Emissions’. Subscribing to ECO123 ONLINE means playing your part in financing Monchique’s Botanic Forest Garden: planting trees, irrigation, forest care. Up to 15 January 2022 we offer 500 annual online subscriptions at the reduced price of €15 each, in a crowdfunding drive to raise €7,500 (incl. 6% VAT = €450). With this capital ECO123 will fund the forest fire emergency sprinkler system. Shifting 250 metres of soil €3,500, material (pumps, pipes, return valves, sprinklers) €2,600. Plus 23% VAT (€1,400). Grand …

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