In line with our commitment to sustainability, EDPR will go beyond community support initiatives in response to this tragedy and strengthen our efforts to prevent future forest fires. Both EDPR initiatives are in coordination with the EDP Foundation’s “A Nossa Energia Para Quem Mais Precisa“ (Our Energy for Those Who Need it Most) program.
Community outreach in Castanheira de Pêra
The small municipality of Castanheira de Pêra, located in Portugal’s interior and home to three EDPR wind farms, was deeply affected by the June 2017 forest fire that resulted in 64 casualties and 200 wounded.
EDPR will be supporting a social aid initiative called “Projeto Piloto Esperança Castanheira de Pêra” (Pilot Project Hope Castanheira de Pêra.)
This project aims to survey the situation of the elderly population in the municipality of Castanheira de Pera, and offer healthcare and psychological support to those directly affected by the fires. The program is specifically targeted at those who are economically disadvantaged and over the age of 55.
There will be an estimated 1,500 beneficiaries of the project, which will be managed on the ground by the Médicos do Mundo (Doctors of the World) association. The non-governmental, non-profit, independent organization develops projects for health and humanitarian development around the world, providing free health care to in-need populations.
The project will run for 12 months, starting in September 2017.
Preventing forest fires for a cleaner, safer future
EDPR is also working to integrate forest fire prevention into our general sustainability strategy. We will be working to create firebreaks in a 38-hectare plot of land as part of our commitment to the “Defesa da Floresta Contra Incêndios – Limpeza de Faixas de Gestão Combustível em Acessos” (Forest Fire Prevention – Creating Firebreaks for Fuel Management at Access Points) program. A firebreak is a gap in vegetation (or “fuel”) that acts as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of a forest fire.
EDPR’s participation in this initiative has been integrated into its Fuel Management Plan. Additional budget for forest fire prevention initiatives was approved on Sept.
EDPR’s Social Commission meetings on May 25 and July 20 were used to explore the topic of forest fire prevention and discuss ways in which EDPR can contribute to a cleaner, safer future in the countries where forest fire are most dangerous.
Rural communities are particularly vulnerable to disasters of this nature and these communities are usually who are closer to our wind farms. It is of the utmost importance that these rural communities, particularly those within the vicinity of EDPR energy facilities, are guaranteed a safe environment.
At EDPR, we see forest fire prevention as an essential part of our future. With a business model that relies on reducing the effects of climate change through clean energy, we are active in the fight against the risk posed by forest fires.