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Portugal

Funchal

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Reforestation at the Ecological Park of Funchal

Date Approved: 07.2003

Forest

This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

In the high mountains above Madeira’s capital of Funchal, deforestation and habitat degradation caused by livestock have caused severe erosion and allowed invasive species to spread.

In November 2001, Seacology awarded a grant to the Association of Friends of the Ecological Park of Funchal to reforest a 12-acre area on the park’s highest peak. The reforestation effort has involved hundreds of volunteers, including local orphan children. Seacology is providing funding to restore another 2.5 acres of extremely rugged terrain within the park, as well as maintenance for the already-planted 12-acre area.

Project Updates

August 2010

Seacology recently received a letter from Raimundo Quintal, President of the Association of Friends of the Ecological Park of Funchal, informing Seacology of a massive fire which destroyed all but 10 percent of the park’s vegetation. A translated version of part of his letter from August 14, 2010 is below:

Unfortunately, between 2 and 4 in the morning the fire destroyed almost everything. The house was destroyed. Many thousands of small plants disappeared completely. The vast blanket of heather and the growing vines saw only the remaining skeletons between the blocks of black basalt. The butterflies and birds flit disoriented in a landscape where this morning hung the silence of death.

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July 2005

Former field representative Korrina Horta visited the May 2005 planting event and reported that the project is providing much-needed reforestation to the Funchal hillsides and that the children visibly enjoy the contact with nature and learning about native plants.

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July 2004

Since 2002, the park’s program to plant and maintain endemic shrubs has restored six hectares of a formally deserted area of Pico de Arreiro. The park’s environmental education program for impoverished children continues to be an important part of their endeavors, with planting events taking place every month.

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