288,000 trees planted after 2016 fires
The Diario reports that Funchal City Council expects to complete by the end of this year the reforestation of an area of 407 hectares of the Ecological Park that was hit by the fires of summer 2016. This recovery is possible thanks to an investment of €1.4 million in a project approved under the rural development program PRODERAM and which is 85% supported by European funding.
The mayor, Miguel Silva Gouveia, and the vice-president, Idalina Perestrelo, visited this week the ongoing work, which will involve the planting of 288 thousand trees, and noted that “the work has been going well since the last year”. “If everything goes according to plan, we will have this extensive area of the park reforested by the end of 2020,” he predicted.
Prior to reforestation clearing work covered an area of about 100 hectares, together with the intervention carried out in the control of invasive species, in an area of 250 hectares. Finally, about 70,000 space-suitable trees have been planted so far, an essential work in the rehabilitation of the burnt areas and the fixing of the soil.
Reforestation helps climate crisis
Miguel Silva Gouveia points out “the issue of environmental sustainability as one of the structural objectives for Funchal in the next decade”, and the reforestation of the Ecological Park is considered “determinant for Funchal’s necessary adaptation and response to the climate crisis”. “We have been concerned with requalifying the infrastructures, such as the construction of a forestry support yard, and the rehabilitation of the iconic Casa da Ribeira das Cales, as a support space for the body of forest operators. Recently, a mini excavator with a shredder and hydraulic hammer and other accessories were also acquired, so that we are provided with more agile and adequate means to support the prevention of forest fires”, described the mayor of the capital of Madeira.
This is the last of a series of interventions that took place in the municipality in terms of population safety and sustainability after the fires of 2016. The recovery of 13 kilometres of pedestrian paths in the Ecological Park and the consolidation of affected cliffs were other actions taken. cable. “We are aware that this will always be a work of continuity, resilience and continuous investment in technical and human resources, but the result will undoubtedly be rewarding for our and future generations in the conservation and defence of this city’s natural legacy”, said the mayor.