INTERNSHIP PROGRAM OF EFMA PROJECT
(Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infra-Estruturas do Alqueva, SA.) is the proponent and manager or the Alqueva Multi Purpose Project
located in Alentejo
region of Portugal (EFMA Project), which involves abduction and water storage infrastructures, as well as infrastructures to improve irrigation areas with the intention to increase the irrigated agriculture practice (at least 120 000 ha). This large scale project involves impacts particularly in the hydrographic basins, wetland ecosystems and streams in the affected area.
The Environmental and PatrImonial Department Impacts of Alqueva Project, EDIA.
Number of students
Countries: Spain: 4, Italy: 3, Greece: 2
The proposed internships focused mainly in streams degradation, rehabilitation and management and minimization measures of environmental impacts caused by intensive agriculture (conversion of extensive to irrigation farming). Some of the topics included:
Water Framework Directive and its application in the EFMA water bodies
-Environmental impact assessment
-Promotion and conservation of nature values
-Challenges for the conservation of European priority habitats (Habitat Directive) such as temporary ponds
-Restoration measures applied on river systems especially on riparian habitats
-Analysis of the effect of management measures on riparian habitats, temporary ponds and agrosystems
The practices performed by the hosted students comprised the development of practical tasks and the participation of current responsibilities of the company. They had the opportunity of experiencing the real-world challenges of Environmental mitigation in such a large Irrigation endeavor. The end-point of these internships ranged from obtaining essential skills in Streams Rehabilitation to developing real interaction with stakeholders on Environmental Issues, both with the company itself and with different societal actors (schools, farmers). To support students, EDIA prepared activities, provided documentation, and gave students the opportunity to work on real case studies, enabling them to undergo a professional experience. Overall, the LandCare experience for both the Alqueva company and for the trainees, was very positive.