Bringing life to 34 hectares of the Odeleite mountain range, in Castro Marim, which burned down in 2021. This is the main objective of the reforestation project of agricultural cooperative GuadiMonte, presented this Thursday, March 30.
The Eira-da-Zorra Degraded Area Reforestation Project – PRADE emerged after the big fire in the summer of 2021.
The aim is to reforest the area «with slow-growing native species that are resilient and tolerant of dry environments, such as carob trees, strawberry trees, cork oaks and holm oaks», says the Castro Marim Council.
«The intervention also includes the recovery of tree species that survived the fire, namely those that are part of the traditional dryland orchard in the Algarve, and the improvement of the network of rural paths, developed by the municipality of Castro Marim», he adds.
It will be up to the University of Algarve to carry out tests, monitor species and germination/survival tests, «because although experience brings us a lot of knowledge, the truth is that we do not know everything and there are many things that have failed so far», underlined Valter Matias, from GuadiMonte, in the presentation.
In order to accompany the entire process on the ground, in a project that should be carried out until the beginning of next year, a Local Technical Office will be created to support the development of actions and projects to combat desertification, based on the requalification of the former primary school of town of Corte Pequena.
«The success of the initiative will be due to the soul and dedication of those who live here, to the cooperative and to the strong connection of active partners, with particular emphasis on the University of the Algarve, which left its campus and is regularly monitoring the development of actions, from the construction of the borehole to the study of soils, and will bring the scientific side to a rural development project, which could inspire other projects at regional and national level», said vice-president Filomena Sintra.
PRADE represents a total investment of €896.036,13 (eligible investment of €810.941,41) being financed by the COMPETE 2020 Programme, under Notice 13/REACT/2021, supported by Portugal and the European Union, co-financed 100% by the ERDF .
The session was attended by representatives of PRADE partners, the vice-president of the Municipality of Castro Marim, António Baião, from CONFRAGI, and Carlos Guerrero, director of the Faculty of Science and Technology at UAlg. It also counted with the presence of Elsa Cordeiro, vice-president of CCDR/Algarve.