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My Expression of Hope

There are several years’ work in this film. She seems to be exhausted. And so we have to wait for a few weeks for the interview. Our very personal interview is preceded by several lively exchanges of ideas by mobile phone. Why do you want to film me, BJ Boulter asks in one of her messages? She is not persuaded by the answer, that certain witnesses of contemporary history have earned their place in our ancestral gallery, but she agrees nonetheless. Finally, we meet La Grande Dame do Filme at her Quinta de Ochalá in Estombar near Lagoa. A table …

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Inland, a Future With Life

Pathways to restoring a non-tourism dependent Algarve. The small village of Ameixial1, located in the council of Loulé, hosted the presentation ceremony for the final projects resulting from last autumn’s Permaculture Design Course. This presentation counted on the participation of its fifteen students and the attendance of many of the local citizens who, with a certain degree of reluctance but a lot of curiosity, began getting into, observing and questioning the students about the proposals and solutions that they had “designed”. These appeared on posters dotted around the venue and serving to facilitate the explanation and understanding of terms as …

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Farm with woofers


ECO123 spoke to Rodrigo Rocha, the coordinator of WWOOF Portugal, who lives in Estremoz and Sagres. Rocha is 39 years old. Originally from Santos in Brazil, he came to Portugal when he was 17, studied geology in Coimbra, and completed his doctorate at the University of Évora. He is the father of twins, and he loves the sea. ECO123: How did you become a founder member of WWOOF in Portugal, and how did WWOOF start in Portugal? Rodrigo Rocha: The first time I heard anything about WWOOF was when a friend of mine was living and working on a farm …

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Food: Date expired?

ECO123: You were the first owner of an Intermarché supermarket in Portugal, in Guarda and you are currently the owner of the Intermarché stores in Monchique, Lagoa, Porches and Messines. What corporate social responsibility do you practice? Philippe Bourroux: That of managing to ensure each store balances its books with the primary objective of paying all members of staff. At this moment, we employ around 250 people with paying salaries highly difficult. However, socially, the role of a supermarket is to locally provide all of the products that people need to live. Such as, for example in places like Monchique, …

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Living off its passengers.

Miguel Fragoso (mechanical engineer) began his career in the maintenance and mechanical department in 1987 at Rodoviária Nacional (RN (National Coaches)) servicing the Algarve fleet of what was then RN. In 1989, he took over another company in the Barraqueiro group. Today, the group is made up of four companies and including EVA and Frota Azul Algarve. ECO123: How did you get to work today? Miguel Fragoso: By car because I live in Vilamoura and my role in the company forces me to travel around and that means I cannot avoid giving up on a personal vehicle due its availability …

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Sharing Creativity

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that frequently gets described as in the vanguard of the copyleft (1) movement that seeks to build a rich public domain as an alternative to the traditional copyright with its “all rights reserved”. To learn more about the organisation, its objectives and actions in Portugal, ECO123 talked with Teresa Nobre.   ECO123: What exactly is Creative Commons and what is its positioning in Portugal? Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organisation that provides free of charge licenses for the utilisation of works and materials protected by author royalty and other rights as well as …

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The first organic Algarve wine

On the outskirts of Lagos, in Sargaçal, Guillaume Leroux, aged 49, Luso-French – or Franco-Algarve -, has been producing Algarve’s first organic wine since 2012. ECO123 set off to meet him on Monte da Casteleja, the 6.5 hectare estate he inherited from his mother’s side of the family, to find out just what is and how you produce organic wine. Guillaume Leroux (GL) – Aged 18, following the death of my father, I returned to France and began to study agriculture, which had always been my interest. I began with landscaping and parks before moving onto general agriculture and cattle …

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Feltro - Maria Custódio

Felt: always in fashion

Felt is a 100% natural material made through compacting woollen threads through a rolling method. Whether done manually or industrially, the technique requires the utilisation of rolls to press and aggregate the fibres, forming a cloth without ever really requiring any weaving. This is a truly ancestral form of producing clothing and fashion accessories with the earliest felt remains ever discovered dating back to 600 BC and found in Altai (Mongolia). To better understand the processes involved, its economic and ecological viability, ECO123 spoke to Maria Custódio, an artist and artisan who turns felt into her form of expression. Based …

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Opening the way through innovation

António Ferreira is the entrepreneur responsible for Pedralva Village tourism project. Following a dozen years working in publicity and strategic planning, and somewhat “fed up with the uninteresting world and selling things that were just not necessary”, he decided to take a new path in life. Already aware of the region and its tourism potential, in visiting Pedralva Village, he discovered the opportunity he had been searching for. He set up a company with four friends and advanced with the project. And, as he said, “here we still are”. ECO123: What added value did the Pedralva Village restoration generate? António …

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zona velha funchal

Planning real actions

Gil da Silva Canha sits on Funchal Municipal Council and the councillor responsible for urbanism, directly supervising this and other projects. ECO123: How would you evaluate the restoration project for the Santa Maria historical centre? Gil da Silva Canha: I believe it grew weaker as the recovery of a historical neighbourhoods requires a general plan of action and thus far no such plan has ever been drafted. What was done involved sporadic and individual interventions.

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