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It’s difficult to know where I feel at home

Lourdes Picareta | Film-maker Lourdes Picareta was born 58 years ago in Santa Iría, in the heart of the Alentejo. She completed her schooling in Almada. She speaks Portuguese, German, French, Spanish, English and Greek. Two years after the 25 April Revolution, she moved to Germany to study history, art and German philology in Mainz and Munich. Afterwards, she started to become interested in journalism and joined German television, where she still works for several broadcasting institutions at the ARD. Every year, she makes three or four long documentary films, many of which are also broadcast by the French-German channel …

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The Island of Tranquillity

Vedanta Saraswati | Yoga A yoga teacher since she was 19, British citizen Vedanta Saraswati always wanted to be able to offer retreats. She decided to look around Europe to see if there was anything she could afford. To run a venue for this, you need fresh air and quietness surrounded by nature. So she came over from England to Spain and Portugal in the summer of 2005 and had no idea what she was looking for. A series of pictures went through her mind. One of them was of soft rolling mountains. Near Monchique, she found what she was …

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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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Out of balance

The future of the world’s climate will be decided in the cities and by the way in which human beings feed themselves. Never before have so many people lived in urban centres, such as those in Asia, Africa and South America. But megacities in their present form are huge consumers of resources. Governments that want to put the 2015 Paris COP21 agreement into practice must start now on the transformation of the structures in their cities. Because cities also drive you mad, as is shown by a study made by UN-Habitat – “For a better urban future”. City dwellers are …

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My Homeland: the Alentejo.

This lovely film is a journey back to the place where she spent her childhood, Santa Iria near Serpa. That is where one of the best organic olive oils is produced; it goes by the name of Risca Grande. Lourdes Picareta, who has been living in Germany for many years and works for German television all over the world, fulfilled a long-cherished dream and came back to the place of her childhood, from where she embarks on her cinematographic journey. To Serpa, Vila Viçosa, Montemor-O- Novo, Portalegre and Vila Nova de Milfontes. She gets into her old white Renault 4 and goes to magic places to …

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Greenpeace on the Digital Conference re:publica

Volker Gassner (l-r), spokesman Greenpeace Germany, Jürgen Knirsch, trade expert, and Stefan Krug, Director of the Political Representation Greenpeace Germany, speaking on 02.05.2016 on the re: publica in Berlin. The environmental organization announced at the press conference that makes it public secret TTIP papers. See the file here:

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Being happy, the human side of climate protection

What do people need to be happy? Recently, this question has not only been of interest to psychologists and Hollywood directors, but also to ecologists, economists and climate activists. Because – and this has been proved – happy people live more environmentally friendly lives. Only people who feel empty inside, only those who are unhappy or who are not at ease with what they have and are, have to drive big cars, go on long journeys or wear expensive brands of clothes. By contrast, happy people consume fewer resources and pollute fewer seas; fewer forests have to be felled for …

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Business as usual?

Thirty-eight kilometres off Portugal’s bathing and surfing beaches, four raw materials companies are searching for oil and gas in the sea. In itself, this would hardly merit a mention – after all, our planet’s raw materials are already being plundered everywhere – were it not for the fact that there have been protests, sometimes fierce ones, from all parts of society that are concerned about social and ecological issues. Even some areas of business are signalling a clear rejection, especially tourism, which is responsible for 10% of the country’s income. There’s an outcry. There are three questions. Why are companies …

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Eden

In the shade of the big fig tree in my garden, I often sit and ponder the world. I wonder, for example, why, in my microcosm, more and more storks are losing interest in the flight from Europe to Africa? Or why the swallows are starting their acrobatic flights as early as January and setting off in search of a mate? Why the brown dog tick, well known for tick-borne diseases, clings to my dog’s neck in deepest winter at a temperature of 15 degrees Celsius and sucks its blood despite a tick collar? And, while I’m peeling and eating …

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Let Us Build Aquaponics In Our Garden

Want to make your world a greener place? Let Us Build Aquaponics In Our Garden The number of people who take care to enquire where and how their food is produced is growing steadily. More and more people want a guarantee that their foodstuffs, whether vegetables, salads or fish, are produced locally, in an ecologically impeccable manner, and in harmony with nature. Fruit and vegetables produced oneself or grown in the region, ok; but fresh fish too? Aquaponics = Hydroculture + aquaculture. The number of people who take care to enquire where and how their food is produced is growing …

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