The forests and mountains play an essential role in the health of our planet. They provide a wide range of functions for local ecosystems, such as providing natural resources, controlling soil erosion, regulating and filtering water and recycling nutrients. They also aid soil formation, the sequestration of carbon, the filtration of air pollutants, climate softening, the production of raw materials and the reducing the risk of fires and floods.
The Forest Conservation program aims to promote the ecological recovery of degraded areas through the restoration of native forests and native species, while involving the local community as much as possible. The project aims to enhance natural heritage, reduce environmental damage, regenerate and recover natural spaces, and therefore promote biodiversity and restore ecological functions.
Alongside the field team, volunteers study and learn about the forest. Fieldwork tasks vary depending on the season, however may include: applying control techniques for invasive species (these were wrongly introduced in the last decades for fast reforestation and are now strongly threatening the natural areas), planting different species with diverse methodologies (mostly in autumn and winter), maintaining planted areas, protecting biodiversity niches and maintaining walking trails.
Most of the activities are based in a natural park that surrounds a part of Lisbon. The travel distance of the house to the volunteering site is about one hour by public transport. Volunteers typically work for around 4 hours per day and it’s important that they are physically fit and active.
Once a month (no set dates) there is an activity out of the city that usually lasts from 2 to 5 days. These national field trips take place in different parts of the country, so volunteers may have the chance to explore other villages and areas in Portugal. Volunteers play an important role on these trips by planting on a larger scale in areas that have been degraded due to intensive agriculture, fires or the presence of exotic invaders.
Volunteers will be working side by side with local volunteers, coordinators and other members of the community to create a visible impact and promote the importance of networking.
When joining the program in the Winter, volunteers should be prepared for lower temperatures of between 40-60°F (5-15°C), and come equipped with warm clothing. If you are planning to come during the summer, temperatures range between 77-100ºF (25-38ºC), so comfortable and light clothes are recommended.Apply now