Sunday, 20 August 2017
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eucalyptusI will not dwell too much on the disastrous history of the forests that blight this country, it's all spelled out in the article "Fires and Desertification of Portugal´s Forests," published in O Público about ten years ago, (writes Jorge Paiva, Portugal's 'David Attenborough').

Although we warned about the causes of annual fires that have been going on now for four decades, and how the problem can be solved, successive governments not only have caused, but also have been collaborators in establishing monocultures, continuous and contiguous, with only minimum control, order and rules applying.

fireforestSince 2004 I have published, first in a regional newspaper and then in a national, my surprise and now indignation for the contempt of our rulers in this democracy for the safety of people and their property, writes Jack Soifer

In December, 2013, Vida Economica wrote, "Organised by the Civil Protection department in Viseu and the National Firemen's Association, a seminar on forests was held. Jack Soifer detailed the costs of lack of prevention. "It's much more expensive to put out fires than to prevent them," he said.

windfarmRecent events have been a reminder of Portugal’s laudable position well ahead of many other more powerful countries in at least two key areas of human endeavour: keeping the peace and controlling climate change.

The atrocities in London last weekend and Manchester last month made the latest Global Peace index all the more poignant and pertinent.

Collated by an international panel of experts and published by a Sydney-based think-tank, the 2017 Global Peace Index places Portugal among the fop five most peaceful countries in the world.

VeleFreixoUnited Investments Portugal, owners of the Pine Cliffs Resort  and the Sheraton Cascais, has hit an environmental brick wall over its Vale do Freixo development proposal near Querença in the barrocal countryside.

The European Union did state that after the Quinta da Ombria development was given permission, "there should be no similar developments in the same area." Vale do Freixo is just down the road.

pvThe Açorean island of Graciosa has cut €2 million a year from its diesel fuel bill after a Danish renewable energy company and its partners financed and set up a wind farm and a solar energy park that now provide 70% of the island’s fuel needs.

HowardScott, the company behind the project, installed the intelligent system that blends together a 4.5 megawatt wind farm, a 1 megawatt photovoltaic solar park and a sophisticated 3.2MWh/6.0MW battery storage system so supply the island's grid.

Urban Farming: Pisciculture meets HorticultureA premiere in Portugal: a closed water and nutrient cycle; the production of strawberries and lettuce, pumpkins and tomatoes (and much more) and freshwater fish all year round. One supports the other, the fish support the growing of vegetables with their natural fertiliser, and the vegetables support the fish with treated, reusable water.

The water circulates from one tank to the next and is pumped back again, all day long, 24 hours a day, by solar-powered pumps. This is known as aquaponics, and this form of organic, urban agriculture is advocated and financially supported by the EU.

Bensafim Solar Plant to be paid for by tax payers!!Following news of a massive solar project in eastern Algarve borough of Alcoutim, investors are reported to be ploughing €63 million into a similar venture at the western end of the region.

Bensafrim - still waiting for the €115 million state-of-the-art football village promised by various entrepreneurs over the years - is to receive two solar power generating centres, headed up by Portuguese company Hyperion, lead by João Talone, a former director of EDP.

whalehumpbackThe renowned marine photographer, Nuno Sá, is exhibiting many of his works in Olhão.

‘Oásis’ is being hosted in the city's municipal library until February 25th.