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A group of producers of cork and cork, mayors from various municipalities in Alentejo, environmental associations and researchers, created the “Pró-Montado Initiative” that asks the Government for preventive measures in the areas of the mounted below the Tagus River.
One of the main objectives of the “Pró-Montado Initiative” is to sensitize the authorities to channel part of the funds of European funds from Portugal 2020 destined for agriculture to this sector. One of the cork oak producers belonging to the group guaranteed that the diseases, pests and droughts that have affected the forest in the South, where 72% of the cork oaks in the country are concentrated, have to be avoided and prevented. For this reason, the group demands the launch of a regional tender for the Alentejo to support the improvement of resilience and environmental enhancement, which it estimates will cost around 60 million euros, to face the consequences of two decades of deteriorating climate, three years of drought in a row, and the most recent forest fires.
Some of the protection measures for the cork oak forest in the south of the country are, for example, the increase in the number of cork oak trees, from the current 60 hectares to 80 to 100. The group’s intentions to reverse the sector’s decline have already reached the Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture but so far there has been no response.