Sustainable Management of Lipor's Gardens

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Based on LIPOR Mission and the commitments made in its strategic plan, the 2020 Green Area Project intends to emphasize the promotion of Biodiversity and the sustainable optimization of the gardens, to reduce maintenance costs and broaden the ecological spectrum of these green areas by reducing water consumption and improving the quality and quantity of existing flora and fauna.

At the same time, the project wants to provide pleasant spaces for all LIPOR employees and visitors, increasing awareness to the Biodiversity theme. With this project, LIPOR is on the path of innovation and originality in Portugal and Europe, honouring its commitment to the promotion of biodiversity and the quality of life in a sustainable way.

This project aims to gradually transform lawn and grass areas, so they become more attractive and provide parallel and beneficial functions, in addition to the effective reduction in maintenance as the garden matures, resulting in a direct reduction of related costs.

To achieve this, we are converting spaces by replacing them with more diverse vegetation, not only in species variety, but also in their relative disposition of the terrain, creating a heterogeneous landscape, enhancing microclimates and ecological niches that sustain themselves with a minimum of human intervention and maintenance, revegetation, irrigation, pruning and soil cleaning.

This vegetation should be diverse contributing to the support of the biological diversity of the gardens. Plants with multiple functions are introduced with the purpose of providing shade and protection of the winds, creation of humus in the soil, protection of the most sensitive plants, creation of specific habitats (niches) of fauna and flora, also serving as food for wild animals.

We must not forget that sustainable gardening contributes actively to the mitigation of climate change. These spaces are properly adapted, thus fighting the changes that are increasingly felt, contributing to human comfort.

As can be seen in the following photos, in 2008 these areas were a lawn with monoculture, lack of natural dynamism and monotony in the landscape, without use, without diversity and biological stability, very exposed to the sun and winds, little shade, high rate of evaporation of soil moisture, runoff and loss of nutrients, sparse vegetation, with high irrigation consumption and the need for constant labour.

Nowadays, after 9 years of work, we find an area with polyculture, protected soil and vegetation, reduced evaporation of soil moisture, nutrient retention, greater diversity and ecological stability, more natural and landscape dynamism, increase of biodiversity, zero irrigation, reduced manpower (annual pruning and cleaning of roads) and more shade.

It should be noted that in 2017, a year of extreme drought, the gardens of the intervened area did not have any type of watering or maintenance, however no significant differences were observed in the state of the plants.

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