With Portugal’s natural forests burning in the destructive wildfires in 2017 and nearly no natural tree growth or naturally occurring reforestation taking place, Sonae Arauco, Sonae Industria, and Sonae came together to make a difference and help the forests of Oliveria do Hospital thrive once again.
International headlines were made in June 2017 as a perfect storm leading to one of Portugal‘s most devastating natural disasters. An unusually hot summer, tinder-dry conditions and a dry thunderstorm sparked a series of forest fires that required firefighting aid from Spain, Italy, Morocco, and France. Four months after these fires were bravely extinguished, another 7900 fires broke out in northern Portugal and Northern Spain, adding to the destruction.
With 99, 000 hectares of natural forests having burnt in the fires during June and October 2017, dozens of small towns and communities were left affected. The town of Oliveria do Hospital lost 97% of their surrounding forest area and have since suffered from the loss.
As sustainable forests and the biosphere are important to the business practices of Sonae Arauco, Sonae Industria, and Sonae, a team came together and formed a plan to bring relief to the once forested areas that surrounded Oliveria do Hospital. On the 30th of March 2019, 180 members of these three companies became a team and brought their families to volunteer their time to our reforestation project. Each member of this team felt a deep desire to help and spent the morning cleaning the area of debris and replanting trees that are indigenous to the area.
At Sonae Arauco, we have a deeply embedded respect for wood and the trees we have sourced our wood from, as this natural and recyclable resource is what enables us to design and develop our beautiful wood-based decorative panels. We feel a sense of responsibility to help plant and maintain the trees we use. Forests help to collect and store massive amounts of carbon dioxide and we understand that forests both farmed and natural are a concern for both our company and the planet.
Our team and their families helped us to plant over 1100 oaks and strawberry trees as well as aid in the natural regeneration of the maritime pine tree. We were also able to help remove the highly invasive eucalyptus trees which had grown out of control in the area over the past ten years.
Want to know more about how we helped with the reforestation initiative in Portugal? Watch the full video here: http://ow.ly/S1AY30oqSey.
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