Today, the day when the International Day of Forests is celebrated, REN marks the date with a remarkable reforestation project underway in Carriço. At the origin of the project are the major fires of 2017 (June and October) that destroyed a huge patch of forest in the region (a total of 36 counties), threatened and claimed lives (more than 100 fatalities), and jeopardised the safety of a key infrastructure in the country's strategic fuel reserves - REN Armazenagem. The Carriço facility consists of six storage cavities, which represents 57% of the existing storage capacity in Portugal.
The goal of this project is to bring back the native forest to the region, and it has brought back from the ashes a 47-hectare area with the planting of over 60 thousand species of trees that are more resistant to fires and with the construction of access roads - around 10 km of road network.
This is yet another contribution to the important work that REN does and has done in defending the forest against rural fires, in partnership with ANEPC (National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority), ICNF (Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests), and the municipalities where the infrastructure allocated to the concession of the transport networks and management of the electricity and gas systems are installed. REN has almost 10 thousand kilometres of easements for power lines and gas pipelines, around 60% of which in forest areas.
In 1872, in view of the scarcity of trees and forests in Nebraska (USA), the population decided to devote a day to planting trees. Initially, the commemoration did not have a fixed day and many countries associated themselves with this initiative. The first 'Tree Festival' was celebrated in Portugal, in 1907, with these commemorations extending, especially during the early period of the 1st Republic, until 1917.
In December 1970, as part of the celebrations for the European Year of Nature Conservation, the official celebration of 'Arbour Day' was resumed, as proposed by the then General Directorate of Forestry and Aquaculture Services and by the Nature Protection League.
The celebration shifted from trees to forest when, in 1971, the FAO established the 'World Forestry Day' seeking to make people aware of the importance of forests in maintaining life on Earth. As a result, in 1974, the first 'World Forestry Day' was celebrated in Portugal, and the date chosen, as in many other countries in the northern hemisphere, was 21 March, the first day of spring.
On 30 November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring 21 March of each year as International Day of Forests. The main purpose of the date is to ensure that future generations will continue to benefit from and enjoy the forests, and it also seeks to encourage sustainable forest management, as well as the conservation and management of natural forest areas.