The day after agriculture minister Capoulas Santos said it was “the responsibility of landowners” to halt the proliferation of wild eucalyptus – the seeds of which have been sent hurtling into new areas by recent wildfires – president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was ‘on the ground’ wearing thick gardening gloves, showing people just how it’s done. But the dilemma, he said, is that there is just so much rogue eucalyptus to tackle.
“We’re concerned”, he admitted to reporters. “Nature has spread eucalyptus everywhere”.
Marcelo said he hopes a “movement of communities” will come together, backed by councils and State entities, to “minimise the risk of future tragedies”.
And off he went up the hill, writes SIC, “energetically pulling up eucalyptus, and explaining that his right side is stronger than his left” for the purpose.
But the nitty-gritty of the exercise was still to come. Once the rogue eucalyptus is torn up, indigenous trees will need to be planted.
New eucalyptus plantations have been ‘outlawed’ since the killer fires of 2017.