New Hope for the Montado Cork Oak Forests

6 01 2009

Happy New Year Everyone!

We hope your holidays were filled with love, joy and peace. And lots of “green” resolutions for 2009…

We thought we’d start the year off right by bringing you exciting updates about some of the efforts that are being made to preserve the Cork Oak forests of Portugal—the Montados.

tree-at-night

Cork Oak Tree at the beautiful Alentejo region

Many people still believe that by reducing their use of cork they are helping to save the forests, when in fact it’s quite the opposite that is true.  By choosing cork wine stoppers (instead of metal or plastic) or cork flooring for example, you are creating shared value for the farmers who own the land. You are also helping protect one of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world.

lynx

The Iberian lynx, the world's rarest big cat

If you are a frequent visitor to our blog, you already know about Amorim’s (the manufacturers of our Wicanders cork oak floors) latest initiatives such as Save Miguel and ReCork America. Now, we are pleased to announce a new partnership in Portugal between WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and one of the world’s leading health and beauty specialists.

Harnn & Thann have produced a limited edition black rice soap which will sell for five Euros in their Portuguese retail stores. All proceeds are going to sponsor WWF’s work in conserving Portuguese forests and biodiversity and to the on-the-ground projects that WWF is running across Portugal.

Also, BBC’s award-winning program entitled Natural World recently focused on the wealth of natural history amongst the Cork Oak forests of Portugal’s Alentejo region. BBC’s Paul Morrison, together with fellow producer Mike Salisbury followed a year in the life of Francisco Garrett, whose family has harvested cork for five generations. They learned about the many threats to the region and how, once felled, cork woodland is very difficult to restore because a complex ecosystem such as the Montados takes knowledge and patience to recreate.

cork-coming-off-of-tree

The stripping of the cork bark does not harm the tree in any way. A cork oak tree can be safely harvested up to 20 times during its life cycle, making cork a truly sustainable natural resource.

To quote Paul Morrison:
“There is […] an important reason to insist on cork. Every time you weigh up which bottle of wine to buy, you hold in your hands the fate of one of the most important wildlife areas in Europe.”

Read Paul’s full report here.

If going green in 2009 is a priority to you, cork is certainly a natural choice. So we say bring on the wine (responsibly, of course) and make your home or business healthier and much more stylish by choosing our Wicanders Cork Oak Floors.

Cheers!
Team Wicanders

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