Vale das LobasBiodiversity, Health, Education
Vale das Lobas is a Rural Regeneration Project in the Beira Alta region of Portugal. It began in 2009 with the goal of creating a multi-faith healing centre, and a beacon of peace, integrated within the local village community. The project has evolved in close collaboration with local organisations, including the Municipality and the High School. We formed an Association in 2012, with the mission statement of: Reconnecting Humanity with Nature, and the focus on ecological and economic regeneration.
Vale das Lobas means Valley of the She-Wolves. The last wolf was seen here in 1995. The name signifies the natural order of a clan group, where all are valued and cared for. Vale das Lobas is an integrative community organisation, supporting the rights of all beings to be free and healthy, including our Earth Mother, recognising the divinity in Nature, and welcoming people of all faiths into our sanctuary. Our members derive from all nations, and to belong to Vale das Lobas is a homecoming; it is a reference point, where the prayer for a peaceful world is a common purpose.
Biodiversity ZonesA Protocol for Rural Regeneration
In recent decades the native populations of this region have left their ancestral lands for the cities, leaving behind abandoned farms, unused wells and water resources, and an increasing risk of forest fires. We intend to establish Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Zones, with a protocol for regeneration.
Health enhancing systems that allow for the regeneration of soil composition and encourage biodiversity. These include Regenerative Organic Agriculture (ROA), Natural Farming (Masanobu Fukuoka style), Permaculture, Biodynamic Farming, Forest Gardening, and Agro-Ecology.
Desertification occurs when the tree cover diminishes below a critical point and in Iberia, this “tipping point” has already been reached. Our mountainous region was once covered with oaks, chestnuts, pines and many other species.
Rainwater harvesting through lake creation provides security against summer fires, creates new habitats for flora and fauna, improves soil quality, and provides a valuable resource to all.
The monitoring of biodiversity can involve the whole community, particularly young people. Staff and pupils of Fornos High School are currently designing the programme the baseline study.
The Biodiversity Centre and gardens, and The Artisan Village will draw visitors to the region, and the pastoral tranquility, the neolithic monuments, local artisan production, and adventure pursuits, make it a wonderful destination for nature tourism.