On November 23rd, the Native Species Forest Day is celebrated and the date was marked in Castro Marim with an environmental education action in Verdelago’s entreprise, the first of many that will follow, seeking to respond to the challenge “one tree for each tourist bed”. This initiative also symbolized the beginning of the work of this project, which approved, but without progress, for 20 years. In an initiative organized by the promoters of Verdelago, in partnership with the Castro Marim School Group and the Castro Marim City Hall and articulated with the ICNF, about 130 students from the Altura School Center will plant pine trees, coark oak and holm oaks, with the aim of thickening the existing clearings.
Each tree planted was baptized with the name of the student who cultivated it, seeking to promote and stimulate environmental values in the younger ones. Afforestation is the main objective of this initiative, but this time, with native trees, trees originating in the territory itself, since the plucked are invasive species, such as eucalyptus and acacia trees.
In addition to being more adapted to the soil and climate of the region, resisting better weather, drought or disease, indigenous trees improve soil quality and are the habitats of many animals, some endangered, such as the golden eagle. They are also self-sustaining and promote greater economic sustainability, both from a family point of view, since they are a source of food and from an economic point of view, promoting the production and marketing of endogenous resources. It is recalled that the Verdelago project was approved more than 20 years ago, thus making it necessary to make several changes that would lead to a better correspondence with the concepts and values of environmental sustainability that we live today. These changes, initiated in 2019, are now close to completion, adjusting the new Verdelago Land Detail Plan to the Castro Marim Municipal Master Plan (MDP), as well as the Regional Land Planning Plan of the Algarve (PROT). There is now a greater environmental concern, a reduction in the impact on the landscape and greater architectural sublimity, in place to give way to the reception of a 5-star tourist complex suitable for the current environmental, mobility and rationality challenges. It is estimated that the “Terras da Verdelago” project, an investment of around 270 million euros, will create more than 200 direct jobs.
Castro Marim Municipality, November 2020