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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 Trigger of Happiness?

Can culture change our habits? I believe in the transformative power of art. Why? Because the arts have the capacity to divert people from the norm, from normality, and, by going through a different experience they might want to repeat it. An artistic project also provides intuition, sensibility, the capacity to escape from this more materialistic way of seeing things. My intention is to offer artistic objects of great quality to people who have other cultures and who approach this artistic culture in order to draw incredible dividends from it for their everyday lives and for their inner selves. That …

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Association Milvoz

Manuel Malva was born in Coimbra in 1995, and, from an early age, he was encouraged to appreciate even the tiniest details of the natural world. At the age of seven, he began to photograph Nature, particularly birds, teaching himself to look them up afterwards in European bird guides, in order to identify the species he had photographed. Over time, his interest spread to other groups of fauna and flora, leading him to embark on an in-depth study of the ecology, behaviour and distribution of the wide range of species biodiversity in Portugal. His fascination with the dynamics of Nature …

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Do you know how
Intelligent Trees
communicate with humans?

Dr Suzanne Simard is a professor of forest ecology teaching at the University of British Columbia in Canada whose work focuses on how trees communicate with other trees. The passionate educator and TedTalk speaker was given an exclusive platform in the film “Intelligent Trees” to tell the most interesting eco story of the year. Dr Simard used radioactive carbon to measure the flow and sharing of carbon between individual trees and species. She discovered that birch and Douglas fir share carbon. Birch trees receive extra carbon from Douglas firs when the birch trees lose their leaves, and birch trees supply …

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Keep close to Nature’s heart…

Permaculture addresses our needs for food, healthcare, shelter, education and security. The massive degradation of conventional agriculture and the environmental havoc it creates has never been so all-pervasive in terms of scale, so it has become a global necessity to further the understanding of a comprehensive design and planning system, such as permaculture, that works with nature, not against it. The guild concept that is often used is that of a “functional relationship” between plants – beneficial groups of plants that share functions in order to bring health and stability to a plant regime and create an abundant yield for …

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Was the Forest the Bank of Nature?

We invited teacher and artist Ana Nunes (67 years old) for a conversation. She tells us: I’m from Monchique. I didn’t live here for many years, but I still have memories of what I learned from my family. ECO123 asks her about her memories of when the forest was managed in a sustainable way, before it was turned solely into a eucalyptus plantation.   The forest isn’t a sausage factory, is it? Um, um (She agrees). We need the forest to protect and save humanity, although people have always seen it as a source of income. Income, investment, profit. This …

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A conversation in the countryside

The hands of the clock have not yet reached five o’clock on this beautiful summer day that is slowly awakening from its slumber. The information arrives. I am going to meet with a group of citizens who have decided to put an end to monocultures. So, I get out of bed at four in the morning and get dressed. I arrive at a crossroads in no man’s land. I had parked my car in a safe place some time before, and so I walked the rest of the way. At some point, I turned off the tarmac road onto a …

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What forest is this?

Like sap, we rise up through the four layers of a forest. We progress from the bureaucrats in state institutions to experts who are passionate about the forest. Let’s move from the Dantesque vision of the current ‘eucalyptugal’ to the landscape of the lush forest that is to come.   The ground layer It’s called Quinta da Fonteireira, in Belas, and it is a rare green lung in the suburbs along the Sintra railway line. Between the ages of eight and eighteen, I slept more than a hundred nights there, in Vale Escuro. At that time, when I was in …

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Dumpster Diving

Where? Lisbon, 7pm. Pling! A WhatsApp message: ‘You’re coming shopping tonight?’ ‘Shopping’ is code here for the ‘respiga’, Dumpster Diving. Wikipedia has it nailed down: ‘Dumpster diving (also ‘skipping’) is salvaging unused items discarded by their owners… from… waste containers.’ So, what does this look like in real life? At 8pm, we are waiting, with backpacks, head torch and rubber gloves at the ready, opposite our trusted organic supermarket. Half an hour later, we hear the comforting rumble of the wheelie bins, then wait till they are all lined up and the security guards are on their way. ‘Boa noite, …

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Zero waste

INTERVIEW with Paula Policarpo, the president of Zero Desperdício (www.zerodesperdicio.pt), The Zero Waste project won first prize at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2020, in the category ‘Support to ecological market development and resources efficiency’. How do you see Portugal in the context of food waste in Europe? It’s estimated that every year about a million tons of food are thrown away. That is equivalent to wasting 50,000 meals a day, enough to cover the needs of the 360,000 Portuguese finding themselves in a situation of food poverty. I think that the biggest problem in Portugal is the lack of …

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