Retreat Centre Reforestation
Thubten Phuntsog Gephel Ling Reforestation
When maintaining 100 hectares of unspoiled countryside, tree poaching is not the first problem one considers. But in Alentejo, Portugal’s premier wine region, cork oaks are in high demand despite their protected status. Gephel Ling’s land has been hard hit by illegal tree cutting, with whole hillsides denuded of these small native oaks, some of the only trees hardy enough to withstand the dry, endlessly sunny summers. It’s heartbreaking to see the freshly cut stumps shining among the lavender.
Gephel Ling is now inhabited full time and the tree cutting has stopped, but the damage must be repaired. We intend not only to replace the lost trees but to plant more than were stolen, including fruit trees in order to make the retreat centre more self sufficient. Soil erosion is a serious problem in this region because of the arid summers, and deforestation only makes it worse. Additionally, hunting of the native boar and other wildlife is a popular local pastime, and as a Buddhist centre is it our aspiration to create a sanctuary for all living things. Reforesting our land will help to create that haven.
In order to plant these trees, we need your help. Every Euro donated will go directly to purchasing trees for planting, with the work being done by volunteers. This is an ongoing project. Any amount you can afford to give will be greatly appreciated, and if you cannot contribute financially please help by sharing our campaign.
To find out how to make a donation, please go to: Donations
Lama Gyurme on the Reforestation of Thubten Phuntsog Gephel Ling