Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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Eternal Forest

The Eternal Forest Project

Evgenia Emets, aged 39, grew up in Moscow and Kiev, later coming to Portugal via London, where she lived for ten years and completed her art studies. Whether by coincidence or not, in London, she met her future husband Victor from Poland and they travelled together through Portugal, visiting the solar village Tamera, in the Southern Alentejo. Shortly afterwards, they began making plans to move, their original dream being to create a community in one of the abandoned villages somewhere in Portugal. That’s how they ended up in Ericeira in October 2017. Evgenia has just completed her first 40-minute-long documentary, …

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The forest is not a sausage factory

The forest is not a sausage factory

João Carmago, aged 35. lives in Lisbon. He has two daughters, a one-year-old and a four-year-old. he graduated in Zootechnical Engineering, but life surprised him with a taste for Journalism. Meanwhile, he studied Environmental Engineering for himself, which he found very stimulating intellectually. He worked for some years in this field and went to live in Mozambique. He taught in the north of the country, first at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (Lichinga), then at the Faculty of Biology (Pemba). He returned to Portugal after two years. He felt stimulated by political citizenship and began working at the League for …

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Firewalking - Walking on fire in order to evolve

Firewalking – Walking on fire in order to evolve

Can you get burned by walking on hot coals? You can! But whoever does get burned makes sure that it doesn’t happen very often. Firewalking, namely walking on fire or embers, has been practised for centuries by people from different cultures and ancestral traditions. In the last few decades, this practice has been gaining more and more followers, being used in personal development retreats, workshops or in companies, for the purposes of personal evolution or the achievement of goals and objectives. Kalid, the Sannyasin name of Pedro Fonseca, born and resident in Lisbon, was one of the first Portuguese to …

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Five ideas for gifts (not only for Christmas)

ROK – The simplest there is a mechanical espresso machine made in London, without capsules and therefore without waste, without electricity. Easy to handle, price from about €150. Sunok – The solar oven Available in two sizes, for Slow-Food, stews and vegetarian dishes, also for drying figs, apricots, tomatoes and many other fruits, price around €300. Chocolate The best chocolate in the world, www.claudiocorallo.com100% cocoa chocolate, hand-made in São Tomé and Príncipe, in ecological packaging,160 grams for €18,10 Book “Portugal em Chamas – Como resgatar as florestas?” by João Camargo and Paulo Pimenta de Castro, Bertrand Editora, Portuguese, price €14,40. …

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Monchique 2018

What did you lose and what did you gain from the fire? The Karuna Retreat Centre has been totally devastated. Basically, all the structures that existed there disappeared. The forest disappeared. I feel that a fire, when it comes in a natural way, cannot cause so much devastation. If we look 360 degrees around us, Karuna is surrounded by eucalyptus trees on all sides. We have more or less three hectares. We had cleaned everything: there were no eucalyptus, all the medronho trees had been pruned and the weeds had been cleared around them. So there was no reason for …

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eucalyptus-trees

Where is the treasure buried?

Let’s go on a treasure hunt. The treasure is in the forest. We know that, as the sun rises, the trees begin to do their work. They turn carbon dioxide (CO²) into oxygen, the elixir of life. First question Where is the treasure buried? Bear in mind that, in the Iberian Peninsula, 1.5 million hectares are covered in forests of eucalyptus, to be turned mainly into office paper. In Portugal, (92,000 km²) we have eucalyptus planted on one million hectares. This amounts to 10,000 km², or 12% of the national territory. To visualise what this means, imagine a line connecting …

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Climate-neutral living in Portugal

Recently, Monchique was in the spotlight when the forest fires were being reported in the international press. The reason why these forest fires repeatedly rage across the Serra de Monchique and its neighbouring regions is closely linked to the investments of Semapa SA and its subsidiaries Navigator/Portucel and the industrial eucalyptus monoculture that is practised in an area of 2,500 km² to the North, both in Nave Redonda and São Teotónio (North-west), as well as in São Marcos da Serra (North-east). The main responsibility lies with the pulp producer Navigator (Semapa AG), which guarantees private producers the sale of their …

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On the way to torrid times

Why, every four years, do we vote for PS and PSD politicians, to see them alternately leading parliament as they engage in their constant power struggles? And why is it that this same parliament then approves a government of ministers and secretaries of state, who do nothing more than worry about how best to guarantee their high offices for the maximum amount of time, clinging to power and to their comfortable armchairs? Are they not obliged to treat the country well? Have they not taken take their oath? Is it not their duty to serve the country with wise decisions? …

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Europe needs a project

From Portugal to Norway on two rails… On this question, we were in agreement. It was an idea we had together during a long train ride. I was on my way to interview Per Espen Stoknes when a young man joined the train with his free Interrail ticket. It had been a nice gesture by the European Commission to offer such tickets to 18-year-olds, for the first time, enabling them to get to know Europe by train. Like me, he also wanted to travel to Gothenburg via Copenhagen. The train was standing in Hamburg at Platform 8 and the loudspeakers …

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The climate will be a lifelong issue

When our behaviour and knowledge don’t match one another, this is known as Cognitive Dissonance. The term refers to a situation in which we have conflicting feelings, thoughts and behaviours, creating an uncomfortable inner tension. It only disappears when one or other of the components changes and harmony is restored. The Norwegian psychologist Dr Per Espen Stoknes writes that many people behave in the same way as smokers do, when it comes to climate change: I smoke. I also know smoking leads to cancer.* Action and knowledge are at odds with each other and generate the type of discomfort known …

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