New project to reforest 100 hectares of Caldeirão mountains

Reforestation efforts to take place in Cachopo, Tavira

A new project has been launched with the goal of “restoring, recovering and reforesting” around 100 hectares of land in the Algarve’s Serra do Caldeirão mountains.

The project, entitled Plantar Montado, is being carried out by the Portuguese Nature Association (ANP) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in partnership with Tavira Council and the Association of Forest Producers of Serra do Caldeirão.

The initiative will follow in the footsteps of Plantar Água, a similar project launched by ANP/WWF in 2019 which saw over 50,000 trees being planted in Serra do Caldeirão until 2022.

The goal this time around will be to recover or plant cork oak and evergreen oak trees in the parish of Cachopo (Tavira) in order to “guarantee the protection and rehabilitation of the soil, with a larger fixation of carbon and nutrients, the conservation of water lines and riparian woodland (a forested or wooded area of land adjacent to a body of water), and the recovery of ecosystems and natural habitats.”

The reforestation efforts will be carried out until March 2024.

“After the success of our Plantar Água project, we felt the need to continue our ecological restoration projects in this area of the country and expand the scale of its implementation,” said Ruben Rocha, water coordinator at ANP/WWF.

“It is fundamental to continue working in partnership with local associations, authorities and communities to recover the traditional productive potential of Serra do Caldeirão as a means of fighting desertification and rehabilitating this weakened territory,” he added.

According to ANP/WWF, the project will use “nature-based solutions” to achieve its goals, such as using organic matter from pruning and plant waste products for natural fertilisation as part of an “array of fundamental techniques for this area which is strongly affected by desertification and forest fires.”

The initiative has received around €438,000 in REACT funding via the EU – Compete 2020 programme.

By Michael Bruxo