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The Importance of an Autochthonous Forest

This week, the Municipality of Funchal celebrated ‘Autochthonous Forest (Urban Woodland) Day.

The reason for its importance is to highlight the need for the conservation and protection of natural forests, which are vital for the survival of species and biodiversity, as well as improving climate through the absorption of carbon dioxide, soil erosion, water retention, helps with healing (studies have shown that patients who can see trees heal faster than those who don’t!), as well as cooling the earth.

As a way of marking this important day and taking advantage of the current favourable climate of planting trees, the Municipality of Funchal, through the Ecological Park, prepared two activities: a volunteer programme where employees from Leroy Merlin helped plant trees in Chão da Lagoa, and an environmental education activity dealing with the theme of the importance of the autochthonous forest. As part of this, 17 students from the Rancho and Caldeira school had the opportunity to play an interactive theme game where students were invited to “discover and identify the different species of trees within the Ecological Park,” as a way of promoting interactive learning. 

Of course, not all tree species are ‘environmentally friendly!’

Samantha Gannon

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