EDP invests 850 thousand euros in risk reduction

in News · 13-06-2020 18:00:00 · 0 Comments

EDP developed a fire risk reduction plan in Baixo Sabor, where 850 thousand Euros were invested, covering an area of 6,600 hectares of land in the hydroelectric dam's reservoir.

"The reservoir area of ??the Baixo Sabor dam is a protected territory due to its biodiversity where there was a need to implement a set of environmental measures and guarantee the lowest possible fire risk", said the director of the sustainability area EDP-Produção, Nuno Portal to Lusa.

According to that person, in 2014 the fire risk reduction plan was implemented in Baixo Sabor, "which has given spectacular results".

"With an initial investment of 850 thousand Euros, the Baixo Sabor region had a return of two million Euros in the last six years," said the official.

According to the study that accompanies the fire risk reduction plan promoted by the electric company, to which Lusa had access, the Baixo Sabor region reduced by more than 90 percent the areas affected by the fires, having avoided damages caused by fires over 750 thousand Euros in the last five years.

"A very significant reduction in the incidence of fires has been achieved with great economic and environmental advantages for the entire territory of the Baixo Sabor reservoir," said the official.

EDP ??believes that the annual investment in this plan is equivalent to about one day of fighting fires, and for each euro invested by the company, the region received 2.60 Euros.

"While there [Baixo Sabor] were big fires, as was the case of what happened in 2013 and which consumed 15 hectares of forests and other crops, with the application of this plan, the incidence of forest fires has been decreasing consistently and never again were there big fires in this region", said Nuno Portal.

This approach to reducing the risk of fires is seen by EDP-Produção as "innovative and pioneering" based on prevention and involved the community and local partners, such as fire brigades, District Command of Relief Operations (CDOS) of Bragança, as well as state entities, "contributing to the development of the region and stimulating the recovery of agriculture, becoming an example of forest management".

"One of the most differentiating aspects of this project is the involvement of the local community. Firstly, the owners, where around 300 are gathered, since it is private land, where there are no vacant lots, where there is collaboration in the prevention of fire risk. Then, the involvement of the four municipalities of Baixo Sabor that played a fundamental role in the whole process and all those involved were decisive for the success of the project ", said the responsible for the sustainability area of ??EDP-Produção.

The project also contemplates the creation of 14 permanent jobs, whose function is to maintain permanent forest surveillance in this area.

According to the study, the strategic measures implemented under the plan included the installation and maintenance of fuel management in about 550 hectares, the intervention in 200 hectares of abandoned agricultural areas, the maintenance of infrastructure to support firefighting with improvement of paths, turning points and watchtowers and the creation of permanent local, operational and technical teams, with integration of functions from structural prevention to suppression.

For the preparation of the study, evidence of impact in three dimensions was collected: protection of the natural heritage, reduction of the risk of fire and economic dynamics of the local communities.

The Baixo Sabor region is classified as Natura 2000 Network and is of high interest for biodiversity at European level and covers four counties, over more than 60 kilometres of reservoir, which extend from Torre de Moncorvo, Alfândega da Fé, Mogadouro and Macedo de Cavaleiros, in the district of Bragança.


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