This year, in the wake of the terrible tragedy that happened in summer and the wave of fires that devastated the country, the Foundation decided that its priority should be the recovery of the burned areas through reforestation, and to this end proposed Galp should launch a movement of national hope with a focus on volunteering. This was the basis for the project that took shape through a new partnership with ANEFA – the National Association of Forestry, Agriculture and Environment Companies, to work on the ground.
On November 23, 600 volunteers planted the first 7,500 trees in the Terra de Esperança movement, a result of the partnership established with ANEFA - National Association of Forestry, Agriculture and Environment Companies, over more than eight hectares of the Açor mountain range, in a an initiative that far exceeded initial expectations of 5,600 trees over seven hectares.
The group of volunteers - from employees and their families to partners of the Galp Group and the Foundation, from north to south of the country - planted more than 2000 oak and chestnut trees and reforested one hectare more than what was initially foreseen, in one of the areas most affected by last summer’s fires.
This voluntary environmental action, the largest ever undertaken in Portugal, was staged on native forest day.
As a result of great endeavours, the operation was carried out just five weeks after the last wave of fires, and was only possible with the commitment of the Foundation, of Galp, and local authorities. This was the first step of a movement in which all Portuguese are invited to take part, which will allow, through ANEFA, the planting of a total of 500,000 donated trees.
In addition to the donation of trees, Galp has developed a digital platform that will allow ANEFA to streamline new volunteer actions that will help the areas that burned in the last two years to start afresh.
The Terra de Esperança movement is open to all who wish to participate. Simply go to www.terradeesperanca.pt and sign up as a volunteer. You will then be contacted to participate in plantation actions in the area you indicate.
In addition to the Terra de Esperança movement, an initiative is being developed with 17 Municipalities - Arganil, Carregal do Sal, Castanheira de Pera, Figueiró dos Vinhos, Nelas, Oliveira de Frades, Oliveira do Hospital, Pampilhosa da Serra, Pedrogão Grande, Penacova , Pinhel, Santa Comba Dão, Seia, Tondela, Sever do Vouga, and Vouzela – to ensure all main squares in these cities have a Christmas tree, symbolically honouring the victims of summer tragedy, and bringing a ray of hope to this holiday season.
We would also like to thank all the volunteers involved for this extraordinary effort, with special reference to Sines employees who undertook a longer trip and who had to deal with a setback in transportation on their way home.
In recent years, particularly at Christmas time, the Galp Foundation has carried out large-scale volunteer activities in partnership with Galp's corporate volunteer program - Galp Voluntária.