Saturday, February 29, 2020
Home | Ecology (page 2)


What should I take with me on my hike?

Via Algarviana GR13 Hiking signifies a return to our roots, to an original form of life and to our innate speed. All our senses are awake and feel, see, smell, hear and taste nature. When we go walking, our thoughts become sharper. This old pilgrims’ path is about 330 kilometres long. It takes us 14 or 15 days to walk it. A good rucksack and no more than 10 kilos of luggage for men. Important things are: one pair of long trousers and one pair of shorts, two shirts, one pullover, two pairs of non-slip socks made of wool/flax and …

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Planet of no apes?

The apes are dying out. Until now, large areas of the rain forest in Sumatra and Borneo – where the vegetation grows on wet peatland – were being further deforested to make way for agricultural palm oil plantations. Through arson, the now dried-out peat and the methane stored in it caught fire. For more than three months, fire fighters and the military tried to put out the fires. In vain. Stinging clouds of smoke covered large parts of Indonesia and Malaysia. Schools were closed. The normal day-to-day life of the people living there became impossible. Even with smoke masks on …

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Portuguese Hike

I was on a journey and awoke at night, but I wasn’t sure to start with if I had already been asleep and dreaming, or if I hadn’t slept at all yet, whether dream and reality weren’t just two states that merged together and overlapped with each other? Somehow, images and voices had blended together in my subconscious. I turned the light on and looked at my watch. Five past midnight. Some drunks were mumbling away in the next-door bar. The yellow neon glow of a street light came through the blinds into the bare room, where I was trying …

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The forest is full of energy

Words can be interpreted in different ways. The same does not apply to numbers. Numbers are just numbers, and that’s it. Statistics from the year 2012 show that Portugal imports about 80% of the energy it consumes. Most of this comes from fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas. There should be more arguments against these facts so that the situation could become more environmentally friendly. Some countries in Europe have taken great strides forward in ecological terms, in particular Germany, which now produces about 8% of its energy from biomass. What don’t we do the same in …

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Pesca e turismo

Resilience. Sustainability. A Good Life.

People who are addicted to drugs are mostly in a bad way. They actually need some therapy to get off the poison. But not every addict takes the decision to detox and then have therapy: not with heroin, nor with alcohol and even less so with smoking, whatever it is that is being smoked. Many people maintain their dependencies and live well, or so they say. It’s similar in our economy. It has settled into dependency. Our economy is addicted to subsidies, especially in one business sector. In tourism, all the poison is injected by Brussels and Lisbon. This time, …

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Choose your shipwreck.

Ilha da Barreta We begin our voyage on board the ‘Praia das Conchas’ catamaran. It’s a 35 minute hop providing due time to appreciate the wonderful landscape of Ria Formosa stretching from ‘Portas do Mar’ in Faro through to our destination, Barreta or, as it is more commonly known, ‘Desert Island’. To these names, many locals also humorously add on the epithet of ‘pirate island’. With the experienced Captain Raúl Vicente at the helm, the voyages passes peacefully and calmly while opening an insight into the dynamic that men and nature can daily draw upon. On arriving at ‘pirate island’, …

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From pizzas to slow-travel

Case 1 From pizzas to slow-travel We wander the streets in which the traditional white of the facades throws back the light and the heat of a January day managing to conjure early spring. We pass a resident and various visiting international tourists, who without exception all greet us with a smile and a “Bom dia” almost as warm as the magnificent weather. We feel something genuine and find it difficult to believe how this village, less than a decade ago, lay in ruins and was down to seven inhabitants. Located in the council of Vila do Bispo, in the …

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Faia Brava

On the trail of wild horses Once again, I’m out and about on foot. We have left the off-road vehicle behind where the terrain became impassable. We carefully follow the tracks on the paths over the hills. It has been raining, the weather bringing moisture and the cold over from the Serra de Estrela. There are hoofmarks of wild horses in the ground. Here and there, some quite fresh horse droppings can be seen in the grass of the reserve, a few older cowpats too. The ones that are still warm show us that we are on the right track. …

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National green fuel

There is nothing new about the rise in forest fires resulting from the predominance of eucalyptuses in Portuguese forests. However, ever since October, environmental organisations deem the situation has taken a turn for the worse due to the entry into effect of decree-law No. 96/2013 (1), the controversial legislation termed “The Eucalyptus Law”. This legislation allows for landowners to plant eucalyptuses on plots of less than five hectares without bothering to notify the national Institute of Nature and Forestry Conservation. In practice, this is swiftly driving an increase in this forestry type, which according to the non-governmental organisation Quercus, already …

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Larus cachinnans

Love at first sight.

Monchique. Henk Hin has always loved being part of nature. At least, that’s where he feels at home. Since he decided to settle in Portugal, he has been passionate about taking photographs of animals and plants. He always wanted to learn how animals really live and what curative properties rare plants and herbs have. You have to be quiet, move slowly, have lots of patience and keep coming back. Animals stay where they are, or they come back, if you are quiet and don’t disturb them. But young people don’t learn that, nor do they learn about looking properly. “Over …

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