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Quercus and Vodafone to protect biodiversity

Lisbon, 8 October 2008 – Vodafone and Quercus will contribute to the preservation of biodiversity and re-establishment of economically sustainable agricultural and grazing activities in an area of the Serra de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park. Together, they will set up a project to protect the Alpine chough, a bird in danger of extinction in Portugal. The project will last for five years and involve investment of 150,000 euros.

The Alpine chough is an insectivore that is highly dependent on extensive man-made agro-pastoral ecosystems. The main objective of the project is to implement conservation measures that will ensure the species’ survival by improving its habitats and food sources and protecting its nesting sites – all this with the involvement of the local community.

In this context, support will be provided for migratory grazing; with the co-operation of local shepherds, folds will be restored for stabling sheep and ensuring their well-being, and areas overgrown with shrubs will be cleared by mechanical means to allow animals access to grazing.

Local partnership agreements will also be signed to ensure the project’s continuation after 2112, in particular with the ‘Terra Ch㒠co-operative, which will certify local products such as kid and cheese, and promote Nature Tourism products that build on the relationship between traditional economy, nature conservation and biodiversity.

This project is part of the Business & Biodiversity programme launched by the European Union and whose leading promoter in Portugal is the Nature Conservation and Biodiversity Institute (ICNB). The central objective of this programme is to raise companies’ awareness of and involvement in the issue of biodiversity, along with Target 2010 – an initiative launched in 2004 by governments, NGOs, companies and other organisations following the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development – of which Quercus is a partner.