MADEIRA, Funchal - November 2001
Re-establishment of endemic plant communities
(Madeira, Funchal 2003 project page)
The North Atlantic island of Madeira, which was first settled in the 15th century, has about 250,000 inhabitants. Most live in the island's capital of Funchal, a city spread out in amphitheatre-style fashion from a low-lying bay area to ever-steeper hillsides. Deforestation caused by livestock grazing has led to serious flooding problems, and desertification and invasive species are an ever-growing threat to the island. To address the problems of erosion and the loss of diversity, the 1,000-hectare Ecological Park of Funchal was established in 1994 in the mountains high above the city. Seacology is providing support for the reforestation of the park's highest mountain, Pico de Arreiro, which has an altitude of 5,600 feet. The project is being carried out by a small local organization, Associaçao de Amigos, which engages local street children and orphans in tree plantings and other fun ecological activities.*
UPDATE November 2003 - A total of ten species of indigenous trees has been planted on a 15-acre area on Pico de Arreiro.
Project Updates and more photos can be found on the Madeira 2003 project page.