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Ecology

Nº 45 – Only together are we strong

Saturday, August 1st, 2020 Lisbon. Eight organisations for the defence of the environment have joined forces and are taking the Portuguese Government to court to prevent the plans to build Montijo Airport from going ahead. With the backing of the NGO ClientEarth, an International Environmental Law charity, SPEA, ANP/WWF Portugal, A Rocha, FAPAS, GEOTA, LPN, ZERO and Almargem have filed an administrative lawsuit at the Lisbon District Administrative Court, requesting the annulment of the favourable Declaration of Environmental Impact issued by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA). The organisations argue that the authorities did not properly consider the impacts that the …

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Nº 44 –
There is no more bad news
Real Nature Protection
The LIFE project in the Berlengas

Saturday, 18th July 2020 Lisbon. The “Natura 2000”  network was created by the EU Commission and aims to protect species and habitats of great importance in all 27 EU countries as a genuine form of nature conservation. There is a total of 2,000 species and 230 habitat types in the 27 countries between Finland and Portugal that have been designated as Natura 2000 sites. If you are interested and want to find the nearest nature reserve in your region, just click on https://natura2000.eea.europa.eu//# and enter your place of residence. Monchique is PTCON0037. The whole of the municipality has been designated …

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Nº 43 –
The “Monchique com Futuro” pilot scheme
Fire is put out with water

Saturday, July 11th, 2020 The place at the top is called Bemparece (“Good-looking”) and the name does justice to the beautiful view that you can have from there. We climbed up to the plateau where Ana Mira (67) and Carlos Abafa (75) used to pick chanterelles in wet winters. We are surrounded by cork-oaks, most of which have been burned. The blue sky appears amid the treetops and, in front of us, we can see the mountains. Just a few years ago, everything was different. There were lots of chestnut-trees and cork-oaks here, more than a hundred years old, whose …

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EDEN
The Botanical Garden of Caldas de Monchique

Here is some more good news! Over the next ten years, ECO123’s employees, friends, sponsors, subscribers and customers will plant more than 1,000 different young trees in the new botanical garden of Caldas de Monchique. To plant a tree, it’s not enough just to make a hole and put a plant in it. A biotope is a complex system that lives by giving and receiving, waiting and growing, while also resting in order to gain new strength and the ability to interact. This story will cover everything that is needed to make a tree feel good on the planet Earth. …

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Do we have a hope in hell?

It’s not yet too late to avoid the worst consequences of accelerating climate change – a position that can be justified by the mainstream scientific evidence available to us today. But governments and civil society must do something effective to lower our carbon footprint in the next ten years. So argues the leading UK environmentalist Jonathon Porritt in his new book Hope in Hell, due to be released this summer. Jonathon Porritt served as chair of the Ecology Party (now the UK Green Party) from 1979 to 1980 and from 1982 to 1984. He is a former director of Friends …

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Berry boom in the wild southwest

The latest trend in monoculture – apart from the super-intensive cultivation of olives and avocados – can be found under plastic on the southwest coast of the Alentejo. Seemingly endless rows of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries stretch out in polytunnels in the Natural Park of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast. In late 2019, the Portuguese government decided to expand agriculture in the park, a measure that has raised questions about law enforcement, natural values and who is actually monitoring the use of water in the area. “It’s turning into another Almería,” says Maurício, from Aljezur, concerned about the …

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Introduction – We can be heroes, just for one year…

The protection of the climate is a question of education, knowledge and resulting attitudes Our story starts with practical information about how we can now begin to abandon energy obtained from coal, gas and petrol and use renewable energy instead, powered by the sun, wind, and water. We present solutions instead of provoking panic! It is also a question of using fewer resources and reusing those which we are already using. In 2011, before the launch of the first edition, we invested in two 40-panel photovoltaic systems. Follow our example! With this investment, we started to produce clean energy for …

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Investor warning

The University of Aveiro (UA) warns that, due to climate change, rainwater in Portugal, especially in the inland areas, will fall by 30%. Paula Quinteiro is the researcher at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) who is directing this study, and she appeals to those who have political responsibilities in this matter to promote a more effective use of rainwater. She calls for more rainwater to be kept in tanks and other forms of storage, and demands a more thoughtful, economic and sustainable use of this water. The results of the research linked to the “CLICURB” project point …

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Do it yourself and avoid waste

Homemade Shampoo Today we are going to talk about shampoo: a vegan alternative, without chemicals or plastics. I can’t imagine how many plastic shampoo bottles I’ve thrown away over the course of my life. Whether the bottle is 250 ml or 1000 ml, the flood of plastic never seems to end. Special soap for hair washing does exist, but it’s not always easy to find – and goodness knows where it’s been imported from, or rather, how much CO2 it has generated, even without counting my journey to buy it at the shop… plus, the never-ending list of ingredients makes …

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Theodor W. Adorno: There is no right life in the wrong one

Over the last few decades, tourism has become increasingly important to society, with an inevitable impact on the most visited tourist regions. Initially, they saw improvements in working and social conditions, and now they benefit from increased mobility and accessibility. But can tourism be sustainable, or at least contribute to sustainability? João Fernandes, president of the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA), which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020, believes that sustainable tourism is possible and explains why. But do we still have time? The rapid growth in tourism has outstripped the implementation of decarbonisation technologies. How do you view this issue? …

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