Portugal has showed up in the headlines of the major media of the world last year for the huge damage both in terms of human loss and ecological disaster originated by the immense fires that devastated large portions of its surface. Centuries-old forests were destroyed, together with the infamous eucalyptus plantations, houses and fields were turned to ashes, ecosystems disappeared in minutes, thousands of animals died, got wounded or lost their homes.

The loss in terms of human lives was beyond anyone had ever expected and beyond what anyone is ready to face.

In the meantime on the other side of Portugal, on its beautiful untouched coastlines, the fossil-fuel industry (Galp, ENI and others) is now proceeding with a fracking operation that is going not only to damage the cleanliness of the sea with its resulting damage of both marine wildlife and the tourist industry, but to endanger a greater amount of people by drilling on a sea bottom famous for its high seismic risk.

Now,  questions are resounding loud and ever more urgent: what to do? How to proceed? How to trigger a cycle of good practices? How to oppose such big industries with their billion euros? But also how to find comfort, support and guidance in the awareness that Earth is a living being with which we need to cooperate? How can we then globally restore the balance between the elements, allowing the Earth to keep on sustaining life for All in all ways?

In this discussion panel we will hear the perspectives, challenges and solutions from the main activists campaigns now operating in Portugal, to re-establish a right relation with our nurturing mother, to trigger engagement in the wider society and to find comfort and support in sharing our common love for nature and the best practices on how to defend life not only in Portugal, but on the entire planet!

Susana Guimarães (Reflorestar Portugal - member) (Bio)

Reflorestar Portugal is an association that started from the dream to see the Portuguese forests reborn, through regenerative practices. With a holistic vision on people and the planet, the principles of syntropy are applied in the work we develop both in human and natural systems. Agroforestry, Syntropic Agriculture, Permaculture, Sociocracy, Dragon Dreaming, Self Knowledge and Spiritual Development, Chinese Medicine, Audiovisual contents, Creation of Local and global networks of collaboration, Circular economy, Conscious Marketing and Ethical Design are some of the areas approached by a multidisciplinary team.

Our actions go towards empowering local communities and projects as the vehicle to fulfill Reflorestar's mission to increase the human ability to cooperate for the regeneration of planet Earth and Humanity itself

João Camargo (Bio)

João became politically active after leaving college, having joined Precários Inflexíveis and later having organized Screw the Troika. He's a journalist, photographer, illustrator  and teacher of Chemistry and Botany in Mozambique. Back to Portugal he worked for the Liga para a Protecção da Natureza, an environmental NGO in which, among other things, he organized the campaign against eucalyptus liberalisation.

He's a researcher in Climate Change and an activist in the climate justice movement Climáximo. He writes regularly for Público newspaper and he's the author of Climate Change Combat Manual.

 Rui Horta (Bio)

Born in Portugal, he is one of the most influential choreographers of his generation. His work has been presented in the main theatres and festivals all over the world, such as Theatre de la Ville in Paris , The Joyce Theatre in New York or the Spiral Hall in Tokyo. He has collaborated with many companies such as Netherlands Dance Theatre, Cullberg Ballet, Grand Ballet de l’Opera de Genéve, etc.

Since 2000 he lives in Montemor-o-Novo in Portugal, where he established a cross-disciplinary residence center devoted to emerging artists and experimental works. He is a founding member of Futuro Limpo, a movement that fights oil and gas exploration in Portugal, striving for a transition to clean energy.

 Raiz Permanente (Fernanda Rodriguez) (Bio)

This association was born in the heart of the permaculture community of the region of Pedrógão Grande which was devastated by fires last June, which the intention to have an active role in the reforestation of the area, avoiding monocultures.

ASMAA (Laurinda Seabra - founder) (Bio)

ASMAA is private not-for-profit association complying with its statuary aims and objectives of supporting the Algarve tourism driven sectors using the sea and marine activities as tools of sustainability. ASMAA has a very strong focus on environmental protection, with a special emphasis on protecting the oceans surrounding the Algarve coastal regions from fracking and oil drilling.

Awakened Forest Project (Laura Williams – co-founder) (Bio)

This initiative is dedicated to reawakening our innate knowledge that we are not separate from Nature. She has over 20 years experience with environmental direct action and community activism in the UK and Portugal. In the wake of the October 2017 fires she sees that how we relate to water is the key environmental issue facing Portugal and the world today.

She considers Sacred Activism to be taking action from the radical understanding that our perception of separation and division is not real; there is no ‘them’ and ‘us’. To create a world beyond separation consciousness we need to learn to act with unity consciousness.


Iris Lican (Bio)

Iris is a dance artist, yoga teacher, doula, therapist, medicine woman, activist, author, researcher and collector of Sacred Feminine traditions and practices. 

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