Thursday, 29 June 2017
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FireGoisAt last the high temperatures have dropped and, in some regions of Portugal, there has even been a sprinkling of rain. However, there has been nothing like enough rain to lessen the risk of wild fires breaking out such as the one which, beginning on 17 June, claimed the lives of 64 people in the central Portuguese region of Leiria. After a dry spring and the hottest start to summer in 40 years, Portugal remains an arid and vulnerable tinder box.

Probably caused by a dry thunderstorm, the fire then was fanned by strong winds and fueled by high temperatures. Within hours it had spread to a huge area around the village of Pedrogao Grande.


Carlos De SousaOn World Ocean’s Day (8th June) two teachers became the first people to complete a marathon on a SUP made out of plastic bottles… to raise awareness of the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean - a global threat that has reached alarming proportions - by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (World Economic Forum) – the equivalent of one rubbish-truck load every minute!

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.