Today’s post is not about breathtaking landscapes, old towns with mysterious legends, art or Portuguese culture in any way. Actually, maybe it is.
Long story short, there’s an Australian mining company called Fortescue that wants to poke holes in Portugal to look for several things, but mostly, lithium. They’re aiming at areas in Central Portugal (basically, around Serra da Estrela) and next to Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês (yes, a national park – the only one in Portugal!).
Do I really need to explain to you the implications of this? No, I don’t believe the 4th largest iron producer in the world will share profits with the locals or the Portuguese government. Even if they did, it would be stupid to look for short time profit that will leave the land, and those in it, empoverished, polluted and beyond the possibility of repair.
Fortescue’s intentions are hidden in plain sight, of course. Everything’s being done by the book, legally speaking, but the populations directly affected are not being warned about this, most of them don’t even know what’s going on. There are people in those places spreading information and doing a wonderful job. But what about those of us who don’t live in the area? Earth is everyone’s backyard and yes, we can all do something about it.
In an ideal world I would have written a better, longer blog post about this but we really have no time and must act *now*. I’ll be dividing this in phase 1 and phase 2, with the first being the more urgent one, obviously.
Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês
There’s a petition going on right now that you can sign if you have a Portuguese “cartão do cidadão”. Please share it with everyone you know, spread the word! You can also join the Facebook group called “Proteger o Parque Nacional Peneda-Gerês”.
There are several actions being taken but I would recommend checking this website, which is being updated whenever the need arises (that’s frequently!). Go to the “Transferências / Downloads” tab and you’ll find PDF files with letters you can sign and send. The file has all the instructions needed. This only applies to those living in Portugal, unfortunately, and the deadline is almost upon us. I would also recommend joining the Facebook group called “Movimento contra minas de lítio na Beira Alta”.
Over the next few days I’ll be sharing a text, in English, that you can send by email to the Portuguese government and the Environment Ministry – that will be phase 2. Legally, it’s not the same thing, of course, but if enough people take part hopefully we can shake things up.
A final request: I never earned a penny (or a Euro!) with the blog and I’ve been here since 2013! I ask of you to please *please* pretty please do what you can about this and please share this information with everyone you know. Thank you so much! ❤
The website: http://www.beyondlisbon.pt/