Portugal replants trees in Monchique to prevent wildfire risk

Portugal’s Renature Monchique project is replanting areas that were burnt by wildfires in summer 2018 in the southern Algarve’s Monchique mountain range in partnership with owners and entities, local media reported earlier this week.

The project, managed by the Study Group on Spatial Planning and Environment (GEOTA), a non-governmental organization, was launched less than a year after the fires of August 2018, in May 2019 and is now implementing a second reforestation cycle.

In an annual investment of 250,000 euros, the aim is to plant 75,000 trees in each cycle, across 250 hectares. Up until now, 95,000 trees, mostly arbutus and cork oaks, but also monchique alder, ash, chestnut and oak, have already been planted, the project manager told Lusa news agency.

From May to September, a campaign is promoted to “attract landowners who want to see their land replanted”, and then the land is visited to “see their potential”, Miguel Jerónimo added. 

The final objective of the project is “to create a landscape that is more resilient to fire”, by focusing on a variety of species “without a predominant monoculture” in a vast area.

The Renature Monchique project is coordinated by GEOTA and executed in partnership with the Monchique Chamber, the Institute for Nature and Forest Conservation, the Algarve Tourism Region and the financing entity, the Ryanair aviation company.