In defense of the Autochthonous Forest, around 150 children from the 5th and 6th grades of schools in the municipalities of Gondomar, Paredes, and Valongo carried out today, February 1st, a reforestation action, where they planted 600 oak trees in a 2-hectare area. This initiative is part of a broader REN project, which will enable the planting of 11,000 oak trees in 42 hectares of Parque das Serras do Porto by the end of the year. This event was scheduled for the week of the Autochthonous Forest, in November last year, but was postponed due to bad weather.
The plantation took place in an area where the municipalities of Gondomar, Valongo, and Paredes meet, and as attended by Alexandre Almeida, Mayor of Paredes and Chairman of the Association of Municipalities of Parque das Serras do Porto, Marco Martins, Mayor of Gondomar, José Manuel Ribeiro, Mayor of Valongo, and Nuno Ribeiro, REN's Head of Operations.
During this initiative, REN donated an all-wheel drive vehicle to the Association of Municipalities of Parque das Serras do Porto, thus strengthening the company's commitment to preventing wildfires.
For Alexandre Almeida, Chairman of the Association of Municipalities of Parque das Serras do Porto, which encompasses the municipalities of Gondomar, Paredes, and Valongo, this action 'is in line with the strategy of the best practices in the management of protected landscapes. The action aims to raise awareness among the youngest towards the importance of preserving this space, which belongs to all. Stimulates the promotion of the native forest and at the same time the prevention of fires. Parque das Serras is the largest lung in the Metropolitan Area of Porto and is an environmental priority for the northern part of the country'.
For João Faria Conceição, Executive Director at REN, 'defending the native forest is a priority for REN, which has 23,000 hectares of easement areas in forest land. We work every day in the management of these areas. This includes clearing and reforesting with native species, thereby increasing the forest's biodiversity and resilience. By 2025, REN seeks to reforest 50% of its easement areas in forest lands'.
Since 2009, REN has donated 90 vehicles to prevent wildfires - 60 vehicles were donated to voluntary fire brigades and 30 to civil protection fire prevention teams from the municipalities.
The native forest, whose day is celebrated on 23 November, is composed of trees native to the specific land, therefore being more suited to the soil and climate conditions and thus more resistant to plagues, diseases, and periods of drought or intense rain than introduced species. Additionally, they are the habitat of native animal species, many of which are endangered. The native forest, although with slower growth, are also typically more resistant and resilient to wildfires.
The Association of Municipalities of Parque das Serras do Porto comprises the municipalities of Gondomar, Paredes, and Valongo. It seeks to manage Parque das Serras do Porto and to promote the environment, nature, and outdoor life.