“Renature Monchique” is again vowing to help Monchique in the wake of last weekend’s fire. The project was launched in 2019 in a bid to help replant vast areas of the borough devastated by the 2018 wildfire.
Miguel Jerónimo, the coordinator of the Renature Monchique project, says: “Seeing the hills of Monchique in flames again was incredibly sad. But doing nothing is not an option.”
Climate change and the impact of human activity have made these fires “highly destructive,” said Jerónimo, adding that action is needed to prevent these kinds of blazes.
So far, the Renature Monchique project has been responsible for planting around 137,000 native trees in the borough with the support of 41 local landowners and their families – the goal being to move away from eucalyptus trees which have proved to be a huge fire hazard. Among the species planted are the Monchique oak tree, cork oak tree, chestnut tree, strawberry tree, Portuguese oak tree, ash tree and common elder.
The goal is to plant a total of 200,000 trees by April 2022, which could help reduce carbon emissions by 1,200 tons per year.
The Renature Monchique project is coordinated by GEOTA and involves partnerships with Monchique Council, the Institute for Nature and Forest Conservation, the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA) and Irish low-cost airline Ryanair.
Meanwhile, a photography exhibition to celebrate the project’s two-year anniversary is being displayed at the Santo António gallery in Monchique until August 22. It can be visited for free between Wednesday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
Photo: JOSÉ GARRANCHO