Epson Pioneers Sustainable Future for Portugal’s Forests
Launch of major project to restore biodiversity destroyed by forest fires
– TOKYO, Japan – Epson, the leader in digital imaging technology, launched on 11 December an ambitious initiative to help restore the biodiversity in Serra da Gardunha, Fundão, Central Portugal. Epson will work with local partners to restore the area’s scenery and wildlife, all of which were devastated by the severe forest fires of 2003 and 2005. The Epson Gardunha Biodiversity Initiative forms part of Epson’s Environmental Vision 2050: a wide ranging environmental commitment that also includes reducing the company’s entire CO2 emissions by 90% by 2050.
A ceremony was held on the slopes of the Gardunha Mountain to celebrate the first phase of the project, which will focus on restoring 40 hectares of the Serra da Gardunha. Attendees included Manuel Joaquim Barata Frexes (President of the Municipality of Fundão) and representatives of partner organisations: Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves (SPEA ), Gardunha Verde, Pinus Verde and Agência Gardunha 21.
Enrique Tufet-Opi, Vice President Corporate Office and General Counsel, Epson Europe, launched the project by saying: “This is a clear demonstration of Epson’s commitment to communities and the environment. We hope to ensure the ongoing development, protection and survival of biodiversity in this region, and in doing so help to rebuild local communities who rely on the forest. The Epson Gardunha Biodiversity Initiative is just one of a number of projects in Europe in which we are working alongside local communities for the benefit of all.”
The project will reintroduce mixed vegetation which, while unviable for commercial forestry, creates the best and most sustainable habitat for a vast diversity of flora and fauna. Broadleaf tree species (Chestnut, Oak and Cork Oak) will be planted alongside other local species such as the strawberry-tree (Arbutus unedo) and pine. The protection of unique endemic species such as Asphodelus bento-rainhae will also be ensured. The goal is to revive the traditional forests and to restore vital habitat for the mammals, birds, fish, insects, reptiles and amphibians of the mountain, all of which used to be found in abundance. Epson hopes to turn the project site, which is already on Portugal’s national list of SICs (Sites of Community Importance) in the Natura 2000 network into an IBA (Important Bird Area). Epson is investigating support for further initiatives across Europe.
Luis Costa, Executive Director of SPEA, said: “This Epson initiative provides long term value for the promotion of biodiversity and nature conservation. The recuperation and preservation of natural heritage will be possible through sustainable development. Efficient management and regular monitoring have the potential to enhance economic and social benefits at local level, as well as contributing to the involvement and awareness of the population. SPEA congratulates Epson’s spirit of initiative in fighting desertification and promoting biodiversity as a way to guarantee a permanent improvement of the habitat.”
Manuel Frexes, President of the Fundão Municipality, said: “The Epson project couldn’t be more welcome to Fundão’s council. Not only does it greatly add to the invaluable natural heritage of Serra da Gardunha, but it represents a very important contribution to the restoration of forestry and biodiversity in a region, which in recent years has fallen victim of forest fires.”
Lena Esteves, Project Director of Gardunha Verde said: “Over the last decade forest fires have had a profound impact on Serra da Gardunha’s forests and biodiversity. Gardunha Verde is proud to work with Epson on this project aiming to restore Gardunha’s natural beauty. Epson’s involvement in the project bears witness to its unique vision on sustainable development.”
The reforestation will be documented by Epson, with regular footage available on
http://content.epson-europe.com/environment/biodiversity/en/ New window
About the area:
Serra da Gardunha is part of the Cordilheira Central mountain range in central Portugal, lying just beyond Serra da Estrela (the highest mountain in continental Portugal). It gives way to an extensive plain known as Cova da Beira, stretching some 20km from southwest to northeast and 10km across.
Between 1990 and 2005 the combined area of the Serra da Gardunha burned in forest fires amounted to 11003ha; which is greater than its own total area (9900ha).
About Epson’s Environmental Vision 2050:
Epson’s ambitious “Environmental Vision 2050”, sets out a road map of initiatives by which the company hopes to tackle global warming, worldwide resource depletion and biodiversity loss. The company has set four key conditions in order to work towards achieving "Environmental Vision 2050:
1. Reduction of CO2 emissions by 90% across the entire product life cycle.
2. Inclusion of all products in the resource reuse and recycling loop.
3. Reduction of direct CO2 emissions by 90%, and eliminating emissions of other global warming gases.
4. Restoration and preservation of biodiversity as a member of the ecosystem, together with local communities.
Epson believes that reaching these goals will require a collaborative effort, and has challenged all stakeholders and competitors to help meet the 2050 targets.
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About the Epson Group
Epson is a global leader in imaging products including printers, 3LCD projectors and small- and medium-sized LCDs. With an innovative and creative culture, Epson is dedicated to exceeding the vision and expectations of customers worldwide with products known for their superior quality, functionality, compactness and energy efficiency.
Epson is a network of 93,279 employees in 107 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and to the communities in which it is located. Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corp., the Group had consolidated sales of 1,347 billion yen in fiscal 2007.
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