April 1, 2021. There are 3194 days to go until the 2030 deadline, the intensive action of this decade for the struggle of the climatic, social, and economic sustainability of humanity ends, with prejudice to the environmental calamity advocated by global warming.
Last week in Portugal, a concrete measure regarding the consumption of fossil fuels was taken, with the closure of the Petrogal de Matosinhos refinery, the infrastructure in northern Portugal that supplies half of the country and employs 1500 direct and indirect workers. The news confirms that this measure is absolutely fundamental for Portugal to achieve the goals it proposes and that jobs will have to be directed to professions specialized in sustainable energy sectors. This is an action that has as a bargaining chip access to Community funds for the energy transition to hydrogen and will have to be implemented due to issues of European targets signed in the Paris Agreement.
On the other hand, environmental regeneration is increasingly a political initiative supported by the Sustainable Development Goals (17), which provides for the implementation of specific operational measures, which allow rapid recovery of forest and maritime systems, with a focus on accelerating the reduction of the carbon footprint and the increase of natural ecosystems that balance the environmental balance. We are experiencing a growing dynamic of initiatives aimed at the energy transition and the sustainability of the environment and, in this sense, party policies dispute the most effective and innovative initiatives.
An example of this is the case of a specific deputy, Hugo Oliveira das Caldas da Rainha, (PSD) who has been at the forefront of creating a Bill that allows the management of urban trees and the professionalization of the afforestation sector in urban hybrid environments, in order to create social and legal tools that allow for the maintenance and growth of these systems in a professional and sustained manner. Creating rules for pruning, slaughtering, etc, and forcing municipalities to have municipal regulations for that purpose.
The creation of a new profession, that of the arborist, which is the science that comprises the selection, propagation, and carving of trees or shrubs, as well as the study of their growth, constitutes an innovative form of domestication and training of resources necessary for the management of forests and road corridors, in the implementation of forest waste management methodologies, and the respective logistical support for the management of this environmental heritage capable of reducing the global carbon footprint.
The introduction in the law of a Manual of Good Arboreal System Management Practices will allow, in a clear and enlightening way, to pave the way for a future where the arboreal system occupies an essential role in the urban context.
This measure constitutes something innovative in Portugal, in the sense that it comes to recover the concept of forest management previously carried out in natural parks, enabling this need as a management model, which manages forest waste as capital and which implements methodologies for the good maintenance of the forest heritage and of the different species, in this case specifically treating urban forests.
The introduction of corridors and green patches in an urban environment, a measure advocated by smart and sustainable cities, will allow the environmental effort of the growing urban patches, in parallel with the growth of the world population, forcibly imply the creation of hybrid systems in which the buildings and green areas have to cohabit to counteract carbon emissions with effective environmental purification systems, even though in 2017 the area occupied by forests in mainland Portugal is 39.0%, that is 3,472,459 hectares of area.
This measure comes in a way to recover the concept that evolved since the industrial city of the sec. XIX with the presence of factories in an urban environment, for the modernist cities of the 20th century in which the coexistence between different urban uses was balanced in the creation of machine cities, and today the motto will be more and more the garden city with the implementation shared ecosystems and sustainable urban living. In 2011, 4 450 812 individuals resided in 159 Portuguese cities, which corresponded to 42% of the population residing in Portugal. For such empty or empty urban areas, they will necessarily have to be occupied with effective uses for the sustainable balance of cities and the management of this ecosystem advised by specialists (arborists) whose function is the maintenance of urban forests in all their complexity.
Thus, Portugal is expected to move quickly towards the implementation of environmental sustainability measures, the benefit of which in times of pandemic and at the time of local elections, accelerates the genius of the initiatives and the positioning of the different parties in the face of the struggle for planetary sustainability.
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