Your Voice and Planeta Zero Support Sustainability Projects – The Observer

This program supports initiatives across the country that are making the world more sustainable. Every two months, three different projects are voted on at Planet Zero.

In this video, we present you two of the many projects we have already supported: the Grupo Lobo Cão de Gado Program and the Ribeira do Zambujeiro do Freixo do Meio Regeneration project.

Can you imagine being able to make your contribution to ecosystem renewal projects with just one click? Or to avoid the extinction of the wolf in Portuguese territory? Or even encourage projects to rebuild the homes of social and environmental support associations? The Planeta Zero Project Support initiative allows you to do just that: Help sustainability projects in a very simple and fast way. How do? Voting for your favorite project is just one click away.

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The financial support for the Apoiar Projetos program is 10 thousand euros – distributed to participants in proportion to the number of votes from Planeta Zero customers. To vote, become an EDP commercial customer, register with Planeta Zero, then go to the customer area of ​​App Zero and enter the world of Planeta Zero for free where you will find all the information about each of the projects you want to encourage the planet to take a more sustainable path.

Now there are three in the race! During May and June, you can vote for the CRIDO (Centre for Hedgehog Recovery and Interpretation) project by Amigos Picudos, an association aimed at European hedgehog recovery; In the rivers project of the Portuguese Environmental Education Association (ASPEA), whose mission is to clean up rivers and streams, remove invasive species and work to rehabilitate banks; Or the Faia Brava Association, which, through Impulso para a Regeneração, wants to implement a new model of reforestation, which privileges native drought-resistant trees.

These are the following projects to change the world, and based on the experience of previous participants, we can only expect great results.

Who has already won your votes?

Previous winners include projects such as Reflorestar Portugal, which, with this support, has built a nursery; Ocean Alive, a cooperative that wants to bring virtual presentations on ocean protection to schools across the country; Portuguese Society for the Study of Ornithology (SPEA), which works to protect wild bird species in Portugal and Europe; Or Bioliving, on a mission to rescue the endangered blond cow beetles, which are essential to the decomposition processes that occur in the soil and that allow minerals to be regenerated.

In addition, Planeta Zero has also supported social and environmental projects, circular economy and waste reduction – Just a Change, which takes volunteers to rebuild or rehabilitate SSO facilities; Vintage for a Cause, which was supported in sewing classes for women over 50, encouraging learning and the circular economy by creating new pieces of clothing from reusing materials; Or Thirst Portugal, which encourages measures that provide drinking water to the population where this resource is scarce.

What happened at Freixo do Meio?

For Ana Vasconcelos, the fact that Planeta Zero customers have voted, engages this community in environmental issues and the need to solve them. “It gives people a choice and then they come and watch what we do. It’s participatory renewal,” he says.

Montado do Freixo do Meio, in Montemor-o-Novo, is an agricultural production farm that does not use destructive methods – such as pesticides or intensive production – and is a project particularly concerned with preserving the Montado ecosystem, which is so important to the Alentejo.

With the prize they won, they are rejuvenating the Zambojiro stream, planting trees and shrubs characteristic of the banks of rivers and streams, such as Portuguese oak, ash, poplar, and shrubs such as hawthorn, aduro, strawberry, and broom. The idea is that its roots make the water penetrate and hold the soil, rather than letting it run downstream, during the rainy season. On the other hand, the treetops will create a shadow that makes evaporation difficult. Of course this is a job for the future! It is necessary to wait until the trees become adults, at which time the stream of zambujeiro will not only be seasonal and will bring freshness and water to this area all year round.

Another program made possible by Planeta Zero’s support is Operation jaio, which wants to encourage this bird to leave acorns around the territory. This bird is common in the Alentejo: it feeds on acorns and is known to be present in this region both in quantity and quality.

The jay also has an important reforestation function: it keeps acorns around the area to feed itself later. However, he ends up not collecting them all, and those he leaves behind grow and become the next generation of oaks. “We think it’s part of the intelligence of the system,” says Anna Vasconcelos, who has left several oak feeders around Montado do Freixo do Meio so that jays can help themselves as they like.

Cattle dog recovers wolf and dogs breeds

Another project already supported by Planeta Zero is the Cão de Gado program from Grupo Lobo. This group focuses on protecting the Iberian wolf and solving one of the biggest threats: the herders and livestock producers who attack them to protect their livestock. The most effective answer to this is the recovery of so-called cattle dogs, Portuguese breeds of dogs that accompany herds to protect them from threats such as wolves. “The results have been very positive in terms of the dogs’ efficacy – they actually reduce the number of damages [pecuários]At the 70% level,” explains Silvia Ribeiro, the biologist responsible for the program.

Cão de Gado delivers dogs of breeds such as the Rafeiro Alentejano, Serra da Estrela or Castro Laboreiro to the shepherds, accompanying them in their growth and education. With the contribution of a Planeta Zero customer vote, I have been able to enhance support in the field of veterinary care and food for sponsors during the development of these animals.

Silvia Ribeiro, who sees Cão de Gado as an opportunity to “contribute to the preservation of the agricultural mosaic and all the biodiversity associated with this type of habitat,” says Silvia Ribeiro.

Now that you know more about this initiative, be sure to vote for the competing programs at Apoiar Projetos, at Planeta Zero. Your vote makes the difference

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