We say NO to the destruction of the Ribeira de Muge! We say YES to a sustainable development of this region!
The situation: The Ministry of Justice (oh the irony!) has illegal intentions to destroy an extensive (42he) forest of cork oaks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cork_oak), a species protected by the Portuguese law, to build a prison in its place. This forest is part of a wider protected agricultural area 'Herdade dos Gagos' that sits by a stream called 'Ribeira de Muge'. This stream extends itself for over 80 kms of luxurious green valleys and rice fields. This forest and agricultural area shelter several species of animals and plants, and provide considerable income for the local populations, as the cork oak is one of the best examples of how Humans can build a sustainable relationship with nature.
Several facts make us stand against this project:
- First of all, the fact it is an illegal situation that is about to be committed by a Democratic Government: the local government provided the national government with false information in which they based their decision to have the new prison of Lisbon on this spot. This blog depicts our struggle to restore the truth. Fighting through legal channels is a long battle in the Portuguese arena of Justice, and we have been doing it since 2007! But this is not an empty land with some abandoned infrastructures on which a new one can be built, and no one will care. It is an agricultural area with a protected forest section of cork oaks - trees protected by the Portuguese law. It is home not only to a large fauna and flora but a also a large community of people whose culture and lives are now threaten;
- Secondly, with the environmental problematic we all have to face this century, a legacy from unconcerned generations that only wanted to develop as much as possible and didn't realize development does not have to mean destruction of natural resources, it is an humanitarian crime to destroy this forest and, at the same time, an entire region that would be damaged through it. We believe "Thinking Global, Acting Local" is indeed the way to go!
- Thirdly, for many of us who know this region very well, who grew up in Gagos, Paço dos Negros and surrounding villages, who live there, breathe the fresh air, walk the paths of our grandparents, who so carefully looked after it for us and passed it on so undamaged, it is a personal attack: it is our home, a peaceful place, an unspoiled place, a vibrant and lively place where younger generations learnt to live a comfortable and sustainable life with respect towards nature. It is not the end of the World there...It is not an abandoned area, from where everyone departed for the City many years ago...It is not vacant! And we all want to show that we are here to protect it from such attacks.
All of you who would like to learn more, support us or come and visit, just let us know. We will be here!
Working in the Present for a better Future! Sustainable Development now!
Um ponto de encontro para todos aqueles que, como eu, pretendem proteger o que de melhor o nosso país tem, uma das melhores heranças dos nossos antepassados e o melhor património que podemos deixar aos nossos filhos!