To protect the unique nature of Faia Brava and all the work of ecological restoration conducted in the last 12 years, ATN performs an annually intensive campaign to prevent and ...
To protect the unique nature of Faia Brava and all the work of ecological restoration conducted in the last 12 years, ATN performs an annually intensive campaign to prevent and guard against fires.
Faia Brava is the first private protected area in Portugal, in the heart of the Côa Valley, Northeastern Portugal. Along the steep canyon of the Côa River and the extensive cork oak woodland the majestic cliff-breeding birds soar. These are priority species for nature conservation. Here nature is the most important value. Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN) has purchased and manages 800 hectares exclusively for nature conservation, in order to create a model of local and sustainable natural resources management.
After a tragic fire in 2003, which consumed a large area of about 4500 hectares in the Côa Valley, ATN has been active in the recovery of burned areas in Faia Brava. From 2005 to 2012, these are some of the achievements in Faia Brava:
10,000 produced by trees indigenous years
26,800 trees planted
10 km of water lines reforested
352 560 acorns sown
515 hectares of native forest in recovery
Average of less than 15 hectares burned annually
200 volunteers per year
GUARD BEECH BRAVA - a successful fire surveillance campaign
The critical period of fire takes place every year from July to October, during the hot dry summer in our region. Fire is a natural process to which the vegetation is extremely well adapted. However, the high frequency with which it occurs, the high temperatures reached by fire during the summer and the existence of large abandoned areas, where vegetation density is extremely high, are factors that have great impact on these woodland areas which are currently in a process of natural regeneration. These fires are mostly of anthropogenic origin and are meant to accelerate the pastureland renovation.
In order to prevent the destruction of these unique natural areas and protect all the work of ecological restoration that has been done by ATN over the last 12 years, we perform an annual intensive campaign to prevent and guard Faia Brava and surrounding areas against fires. In Faia Brava, the ranger team works 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, traveling by 4WD car and using strategic points for surveillance. The main objectives are:
- Detect fire as soon as possible and thus reduce the maximum area burned per year.
- Support the work of firefighters, supporting 1st intervention, indicating the best routes and closest ponds.
- Contact with local communities, raising awareness to a more sustainable use of natural areas, including technical support for forest management (pruning, thinning, woodland and dirt road cleaning, and controlled fires in other seasons.
Every year, ATN puts aside funds to operate the surveillance campaign against fires at Faia Brava. These funds are raised through the support of our members, the sale of products and services, and donations. The annual cost of the campaign is 3,000 euros and includes the transportation of rangers, safety equipment, first intervention and communication kits, and payment of services to the dedicated and tireless rangers.
In 2012, ATN has available funding for surveillance work until the end of August. It is essential to keep the team working on the ground at least until the end of September. ATN still needs to raise 1,000 euros to complete the campaign of 2012.
This crowdfunding campaign intends to raise this money and at the same time raise awareness of the community to the importance of prevention and surveillance to fight fires. Surveillance can often avoid the use of the last line of defense: firefighting.