Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has donated an extra €250,000, raised by its customers, towards the ‘Renaturalizar Monchique’ project, which was launched last year and aims to plant thousands of trees in the areas of Monchique destroyed by a massive wildfire in 2018.
The same amount had already been donated to the project last year when the airline’s CEO Michael O’Leary travelled to the Algarve to personally hand over the cheque and symbolically help plant the first tree.
In the project’s first year, around 62,000 native trees were planted. The goal is to plant another 75,000 trees.
The initiative is a joint venture involving Ryanair, Monchique municipality, the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA), the Nature and Forest Conservation Institute (ICNF) and environmental association GEOTA.
“We are grateful for the valuable contribution of all our clients who, through their generous donations to help reduce carbon emissions, allow us to support the recovery of the forests which were devastated by Monchique’s wildfires and help the local community affected by these tragic events in the Algarve,” said Thomas Fowler, Ryanair’s Director of Sustainability.
He added that the airline is proud of the work that has been accomplished so far and that it is committed to “minimising the impact that our business has on the environment”.
Ryanair’s recent donation was celebrated by the other entities that are part of the initiative, with RTA President João Fernandes praising the airline for its “notable commitment” to the cause.
Meanwhile, Monchique Mayor Rui André said he hopes the project will not only bring life back to many of Monchique’s charred landscapes but also make us think about our “relationship with nature” and how we use its resources.