International Event in Portugal - October 2021

Between 20 and 22 October 2021, the Portuguese Municipality of Lousada, hosted the fourth international meeting of 13 European cities involved in the European Alliance for Volunteer Support. 

Between the 20th and 22nd of October 2021, the Municipality of Lousada received an international committee, from 6 European countries, namely, Bulgary, Croatia, North Macedonia, Latvia, Slovenia and Albania, which, under the ERAS project, worked together to promote good practices in volunteering.

The delegation was received by the Councilor for the Environment, Manuel Nunes, who announced the Municipal Strategy for Sustainability, in which environmental volunteering is integrated. This was followed by the detailed sharing of several, environmentally oriented, projects that have already involved, in total, more than 7,500 volunteers in just five years.

All the participants become aware of environmental education and scientific literacy projects already in development in Lousada: BioEscola, BioLousada, Plano Municipal de Leitura - Ambiente, Lucanus Magazine, BioFest.

One of the most awarded nationally and internationally is BioEscola Project that involves 37 schools, 2100 activities, 1200 teachers and 40,000 students from all levels of education.

Participants had the opportunity to learn about projects dedicated to promotion of social engagement: International Workcamp Lousada, Voluntariado Ambiental Jovem, Plantar Lousada, Lousada Guarda-Rios, BioSénior, Casa Ninho Lousada and Lousada Charcos. Participants also learned in more detail abot the projects Plantar Lousada, Lousada Guarda-Rios and BioSénior.

Plantar Lousada is a reforestation and ecological restoration programme that has already planted over 72.000 trees in Lousada and restored 47 acres of forest in the last five years. It has already engaged over 6.300 volunteers who acquire technical and ecological skills regarding ecology, nature conservation, identification of flora and fauna, among others.

Lousada Guarda-Rios is a project that aims at the protection of the rivers of the Municipality of Lousada, using volunteer patrols for the monitoring and vigilance of water and aquatic ecosystems. Participation as a volunteer requires previous technical training that provides many nature conservation and outdoor safety skills.

BioSénior is a programme that promotes active ageing and social inclusion of the elderly, through their participation in environmental volunteering activities. The programme includes senior volunteers that take action in nature conservation activities, but also young volunteers that guide and motivate the elderly. The young people participating in the programme gain both ecological and social skills. We had the opportunity to see the seniors of the Complexo Social de Macieira planting oak trees for later replanting.

The participants visited Mata de Vilar (known as Lousada’s lung) and get to know a little of what is done there. This place provides unique experiences about the natural heritage of the Forest, including the development of regular volunteer activities, open to the whole community. Mata de Vilar will also have an educational-pedagogical programme and regular tourist-pedagogical animation, with monthly activities open to the public, activities by appointment and the provision of tourist guides/scientific animators. The participants have the unique opportunity to walk in nature and enjoy the various sensory experiences that this green area has to offer.

On the last day, we got to know the NGOs Verde and BioLiving that collaborate with the Municipality of Lousada.

BioLiving was founded 13 years ago under the mission “nature and education for all”. Their fields of action are nature conservation, environmental education and training, scientific monitoring and consulting social action and inclusion. In only 3 years time, they have succeeded in duplicating the knowledge about the distribution range of the species in Portugal, involving thousands of people across the country, implemented 11 environmental activities, 20 habitat restoration activities, over 250.000 cigarette butts collected in over 20 activities, 10 International Workcamps.

The field of action of the NGO Verde is the giant ancient trees for which it is necessary to know their location and take into account their importance for biodiversity and for the future. We get to know some ideas for the preservation of green giants and also projects for their conservation

The event was concluded with a guided visit to the green giants of the gardens of Lousada and to the Interpretation Centre of the Romanesque Route. Participants left Portugal full of pleasant impressions and with a bunch of good practices that they want to share with others and transfer some of them to their local environment. This is also the purpose of the Europe for Citizens program, to learn about the practices of other European cities and to connect in common themes.

Follow the Facebook page of the ERAS project, where we will share with you volunteer stories and good practices from other European countries.




Regionalni center NVOERAS - evropsko zavezništvo za podporo prostovoljstvuStarost - darilo mladimYOUTH IS EUROPEAN FUTURE - Mladi so prihodnost Evrope - mreža mest proti EvroskepticizmuYOUROPE: S povezovanjem do boljše EvropeEvropski center za informiranje civilne družbeTwinfos - informiranje in podpora pobratenjuRegionalni center NVOStičišče NVO osrednje Slovenije


Ministrstvo za javno upravoEvropa za državljaneESEZRSZZ

Hitri kontakt


T: 059 927 619


pisarna Litija: Ponoviška cesta 12

od ponedeljka do petka 

med 9.00 in 15.00