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Micro Fórum do Rio Dão, Viseu 06-07-2019

The Micro Forum do Rio Dão is the result of a shared passion for the Dão river and the need to clean it up and see more sustainable activities in the valley.
It was a valuable experience to present the Caminho do Dão at this forum and see how people respond to the project and receive honest feedback. Seeing the project next to the presentations of a historian, a biologist, ecological farmers, a water scientist and an environmental activist showed me that the form/method of the project connects to so many layers of life in the valley which is exactly want I am aiming for. The Micro Forum do Rio Dão generated a sense of empowerment to work together in caring for the river and life in the valley. Below you can see the program and read the press release that was sent out after the event.

Helena Freitas closing the event

António Tavares, archaeologist Mangualde

Presenting Caminho do Dão

Helena Freitas closing the event

Press Release - Main Conclusions Micro Fórum do Rio Dão

(translated to English in Google translate = not perfect)

In recent days it has been publicly assumed by the Government and the municipalities concerned that the Dão River, in the coming decades, through the Fagilde Dam and its reconstruction, will continue to be the major guarantor of water supply to Viseu and an entire surrounding region with approximately In fact, the Dão River has to be assumed as the mainstay of a basin of over 1300km2 and crossing 10 counties. However, the notoriety and projection of the Dão River itself and its basin is very low among public agents and the general population.

In this sense, the Dão River Micro Forum took place in Viseu on July 6th. The event brought together several academics, entrepreneurs, mayors and associations of the Dão river basin with a strong connection to Rio. The main conclusion of the meeting was that much has to be done to conserve and enhance the Dão river; starting with the quality of water, its ecosystem and the environmental and landscape framework. Some of the significant waterways affluent to the Dão River are polluted; compromising water quality and the ecological status of the river, for example at fish level. The resilience of the ecosystem in the valley's ecological corridor needs to be studied so that it can be safeguarded and provide all its invaluable services, such as promoting the water cycle, preventing and slowing forest fires and increasing attractiveness to the population, tourists and economic activities.

Territorial and demographic desertification is greatly affecting this interior region. The consequences of climate change that have already been felt particularly in the region - such as the prolonged extreme drought and the fires of 2017 - also require a new approach to economic dynamics, both in forest production and transformation and in tourism - Nature tourism has to be more and better explored - or at the level of agriculture.

The meeting presented concrete cases of new ecotourism and agroforestry ventures in the Dão river basin. The cultural and rural heritage around the Dão river is vast, much is being lost, much more needs to be done to preserve it, enhance its value. and publicize. So not massified, it is essential to bring people to the river Dão. The well-equipped river beaches - the area with great need in the region - is elementary. For example, some Water Treatment Stations are currently being planned or completed, so that water quality allows the population and visitors to really enjoy Rio. The definition of currently very busy walking trails and paths acceptance by the population is equally very relevant. Institutions need to be more attentive to how they approach the Dão river. For example, as was pointed out at the meeting, it is not understandable that in mapping and disseminating the Dão Wine Route, the river that gives it its name is not on the map.

In different dimensions, there must be greater articulation and synergy between the various agents, whether institutional, citizens, entrepreneurs or associations. Networking must be promoted that serves a common purpose; improve living conditions in the Dão river basin. Due to the immense interest and encouragement of the participants, the potential of the Dão river and the much that needs to be done, the Dão River Micro-Forum promoters' collective will now continue their work. . Always in a disinterested, endogenous and citizenship logic and in close articulation with everyone, they will now develop a Basic Idea for the sustainable development of the Dão River.

Viseu 16-07-2019
Micro-Forum Organization: Diego Garcia, Freya van Dien, Pedro Baila Antunes.

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