For the fourth year in a row and within the scope of the Youth Volunteer Program for Nature and Forest, promoted by the Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth (IPDJ), the “Patrulha Baião” is from the 18th of July, watching over the forests.
The young volunteers attended a training action, where they received essential information on how to proceed in incidents, or suspected cases, in garbage collection and in raising awareness among the population.
They were also given a kit, an identification card, which contains useful numbers and pamphlets, to be distributed to the population.
In each shift, volunteers will be placed in groups of two at the lookout points provided for by the Municipal Operational Plan for the Defense of Forests and Nature Against Fire.
PREVENTION WORK IS ESSENTIAL
The action was attended by the Vice-President of the Municipality of Baião and responsible for the areas of Civil Protection and Youth, Filipe Fonseca, the Commander of the Volunteer Firefighters of Baião, Alexandre Pinto and representatives of the Nature and Environment Protection Service of GNR (SEPNA), João Gonçalves and José Rodrigues.
Filipe Fonseca, began by wishing the volunteers “the best of luck for this work, as it is very important to involve the youngest in the defense of a valuable heritage such as the forest”, adding that “your availability is an asset for fighting rural fires, because if the alert is given in time, it will certainly help to fight fires more effectively.
Do not see this as a way to pass the time, but rather as a contribution to the well-being of the Baião community. Be aware, because we count on you a lot and that’s why I made a point of being here today to convey this to you personally.”
Filipe Fonseca, also highlighted the success that this initiative had in recent years, “because if it hadn’t had an effect, we wouldn’t be here today. The Executive has this concern and it is essential that you are a liaison with the authorities, so that we can reduce, as far as possible, the number of occurrences”.
The Commander of the Volunteer Firefighters of Baião, Alexandre Pinto, addressed the young people, highlighting “the fundamental role they can play in preventing rural fires, because, unlike other years when it was done at night, this year ignition has been during the day or at sunrise, which is the time when you are on duty.”
Your work has influence and is very important. Take this seriously and while you’re there, be professional. You don’t have to do combat or investigation, you just have to do the detection, but it’s very important that you know how to locate where you are, namely establishing reference points for the firefighters”.
Representatives of the GNR Nature and Environment Protection Service (SEPNA), João Gonçalves and José Rodrigues, warned young people to be careful when identifying any suspicious behavior, as well as giving tips to better identify people and vehicles.
AWAKENING EVERYONE’S ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
This initiative was also attended by technicians from the municipality representing the Civil Protection and Environment sectors, Luciana Pinto and Luísa Borges, respectively, as well as the municipal coordinator for the Youth area, Filomena Cardoso, who alerted young people to the importance of collecting and separating waste at surveillance sites and transmitting this need to people they meet today, as well as to their acquaintances.
The technicians also spoke about the various services that the Environment sector has available to the population, namely the free collection of domestic construction and demolition waste, collection of domestic ‘monsters’, oil and batteries network.
Certification as a Sustainable Tourist Destination was also mentioned, from a perspective of continuous improvement, making young people see the importance of keeping the territory organized and clean and highlighting the need to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill and increase the rates of recycling .
The Environmental and Cultural Association of Vale de Ovil – EcoSimbioses, was also represented by Sara Pereira and Carla Pinto, who alerted the volunteers to the importance of preserving the county’s ecosystems.
The Baião Patrol has the partnership and support of the Volunteer Firefighters of Baião and Santa Marinha do Zêzere and the National Republican Guard (GNR), through the Nature and Environment Protection Service (SEPNA).