REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais - will convert 110 hectares of forest in the municipality of Penacova and will plant over 30 thousand native species - with an emphasis on the planting of 27 thousand strawberry trees. This conversion will take place along the energy transport corridors, in an area between Serra da Atalhada, Rio Alva and Central da Aguieira, promoting the restoration of ecosystems and the increase of biodiversity.
As Humberto Oliveira, Mayor of Penacova, mentioned 'this project is of strategic importance because it seeks to achieve several objectives that municipal policies have pursued in recent years: making our territory more resilient to the risk of fires by increasing the area of species that are more resistant to fire; making the spaces acted on available to thousands of mountain bikers and trail runners who use our trails every year; and also increasing the planted and managed area of strawberry trees, which will enable us to continue supporting a local economy linked to the management of this species and to all the potential it can bring to our territory, predominantly in the area between the Alva and Mondego rivers'.
For João Gaspar, Head of REN's Easements and Assets area, 'this operation represents the continuity of the planning work on our energy transmission corridors throughout the country. With the completion of this new project in Penacova we now have over 53% of the forest area in this municipality converted, replacing fast-growing and more fire-prone species with slower-growing native species that generate annual income for landowners'.
Additionally, REN also seeks to encourage more-active intervention by the landowners in their lands, ensuring better land management and enabling the owners to receive income from often-abandoned areas.
Since 2010, REN has planted over one million trees in an area exceeding three thousand hectares, replacing fast-growing species with native species that are more resistant to the risk of fire. These conversions covered over 15 thousand landowners, who can now obtain income from lands that were often abandoned, while promoting an increase in biodiversity.
>In the prevention of rural fires, REN has also been carrying out endeavours to clean the energy transmission corridors. In the past five years, over 30 thousand hectares have been cleared, the equivalent to 30 thousand football fields. In 2019 alone, REN acted on over eight thousand hectares (31 hectares/day). This work is carried out on lands that do not belong to REN, requiring contact with the owners before any intervention. In recent years, this work has involved contact with over 25 thousand landowners per year. In 2019, 28,191 landowners were contacted.