It all started with the 2017 Lousada's Sustainable Environmental Research Fund, won by João Gonçalo Soutinho.
This fund aims to encourage scientific culture and the participation of children and young people in sustainability issues, providing opportunities to develop projects that bring environmental and social benefits to the municipality.
Project start. After an attempt to implement a citizen science campaign where the citizens of Lousada would identify their giants. The results did not reach the expectations, so we started an exhaustive campaign to identify the large trees of Lousada, covering all the county streets on foot.
With more than 7000 trees identified, the process of characterizing each specimen in the municipality begins. It expects to collect information about the importance of each one of these trees. The work had the support of more than 30 volunteers from all over the country who traveled to Lousada to help this project in a scientific volunteer campaign.
The information collected is being used to better understand:
The factors that influence the ability of each tree to support other living beings.
The amount of ecosystem services that are provided by each tree
The value of each of these services
The information collected would be used for the master's dissertation in Ecology and Environmental Management at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon by João Gonçalo Soutinho, the coordinator of the Gigantes Verdes Project.
Publishing of the first scientific article in the 3rd Edition of the LUCANUS magazine. Access the article here (in Portuguese).
Defense of master's dissertation by João Gonçalo Soutinho. Entitled "How important are big trees for biodiversity: a call to the local community of Lousada". You can access the document here .
A summary of this work can be found here.
Continuation of the characterization work of the previously identified large trees and beggining of the development of the mechanisms to safeguard large trees in Lousada.
New collaborator joins the project - João Rafael Brites . Economist dedicated to regenerative economy actions and who joins the project to help find solutions for the creation of the desired mechanisms for safeguarding large trees.
Public discussion of the Municipal Regulation for the Management of Trees and Lousada Natural Spaces .
This is an instrument that allows to protect specimens and places of municipal interest but also to regulate harmful actions against large trees.
First formal meeting of the Green Giants Advisory board. A group of citizens representing different national organizations with an interest in safeguarding large trees that have come together to discuss new opportunities to preserve our green giants, in a pioneering initiative in Portugal.
The advisory board comprises owners, arborists, researchers responsible for creating the First Law on Ecosystem Payments in Portugal, CEO's of companies and organizations that work daily to combat climate change and that work in social entrepreneurship and impact investing.
Furthermore, it occurred the first test of the future Green Giant Route, which will bring together 65 large trees through a visitation route available to all.
Beginning of the Green Giant Nursery, where students from Lousada's Basic Schools sowed and took care of the giants' seeds in order to create a new generation of trees that perpetuate the genetics of trees that reached unusual dimensions.
A month to celebrate the trees in the best way, through:
Publication of an article in the Portuguese National Geographic Magazine, entitled "Golias das Florestas" with supplement map dedicated to the role of large trees in supporting biodiversity and in the Municipal Nature Conservation Strategy
Publication of the Municipal Regulation for the Management of Trees and Natural Spaces