‘The Last Days of Tua’

‘The Last Days of Tua’

Esporão and the Plataforma Salvar o Tua – Save the Tua Platform (STP) have launched the “The Last Days of Tua” campaign to raise public awareness of the devastating and irreversible effects that completion of the Foz Tua dam will have on the landscape, quality of life and tourism of an area that is part of the Alto Douro winemaking region (Alto Douro Vinhateiro), classified by UNESCO as World Heritage.

‘The Last Days of Tua’ campaign, which is organised by Esporão and STP (of which it is a signatory), includes the contribution of filmmaker Jorge Pelicano, whose four documentaries highlight different situations and perspectives on what is at stake in the region. Pedro Duarte, Manuel Queiroga, Ricardo Inverno and Aníbal Gonçalves sound a warning about what could be the last days of the Tua. In their own words, they recount the impact that flooding the dam will have on their lives and the region they inhabit, defend and protect.

These four true stories aim to raise public awareness, both domestically and internationally, about the area that will be submersed forever when the Foz Tua dam is completed, encouraging people to act. Just visit the campaign site www.ultimoanodotua.pt and send an automatic e-mail/letter to UNESCO. The letter appeals to the organisation to fulfil its mission to protect classified heritage, to visit the region, to meet all those affected by the dam’s construction and, lastly, put the Alto Douro winemaking region on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The campaign, which is exclusively digital, is also international and boasts the www.lastdaysoftua.com site, so that more people can get involved and participate in this initiative.

For STP, and for Esporão in particular, the extremely damaging and irreversible effects of the dam include the aesthetic impact of the concrete wall at the mouth of the River Tua, the drowning of one of the richest riverine ecosystems in Portugal and possible consequences for wine production and tourism in the region.

What is at stake is not just the environmental protection of a region considered World Heritage by UNESCO. It is also means the economic, social and cultural preservation of the Alto Douro Vinhateiro, the oldest demarcated winegrowing region in the world, threatened by a project that offers no benefits to the area or its people.

Although the building works are at an advanced stage, it is still possible to prevent the dam from being flooded, thus allowing key decisions to be made regarding the environmental preservation of the region, before it is too late.