The #savetua campaign gets international attention

The #savetua campaign gets international attention

In March, Esporão and Save Tua Platform launched the “Last Days of Tua” campaign in order to raise the public´s awareness towards the devastating and irreversible effects that the conclusion of the Foz Tua dam will cause on the landscape, cultural landmarks, on the quality of life and on the region´s wine production and tourism. This region is a World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO.  The Portuguese campaign, that already generated 16 thousand letters being sent to Unesco, is reaching half a million views on YouTube plus more on social media and got international attention of other organizations and companies.

Tony Butt – PhD in Physical Oceanography and Patagonia´s surf ambassador – visited Portugal in order to explore this subject. From his visit resulted a warning video – Stop the Dams in Portugal – that conveys a strong, clear and conscious message on the perils of excessive dam building and warns of its negative environmental impact.  According to Tony Butt “Politicians are talking about investing hundreds of millions of Euros to build more coastal defenses, so on the one hand they are spending hundreds of millions to protecting the coast. On the other hand they are also spending hundreds of millions of Euros building these dams which are a large cause of the coastal erosion in the first place. To me that doesn’t make sense“.

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Patagonia® is also supporting the actions taken by Save Tua Platform and Esporão® (Portuguese wine & olive oil producer) to stop the dam in the Tua river and is also engaged in spreading the word for people to take action, by visiting the website – – and sending an automatic e-mail/letter to UNESCO.

Despite of the advanced state of construction it is still possible to avoid the filling of the reservoir allowing important actions to be taken for the preservation of the region, before it is too late.

The issue is not only a matter of environmental protection of UNESCO World Heritage patrimony. It is also about the economic, social and cultural preservation of “Alto Douro Vinhateiro”, the oldest demarcated region in the world, with unique features that is being threatened by a project that does not bring any advantage for the territory or its inhabitants.

The Cause
The Platform Save the Tua was founded the 31st  May 2013. Its mission is to protect the Tua Valley, a region where flows one of the most beautiful rivers in Portugal, which is shaped by a rare landscape. The Platform Save the Tua is committed in raising public awareness and policy makers awareness about the incompatibility of the Foz Tua dam with the values abided by Unesco World Heritage nomination of the Alto Douro Wine Region. To succeed in this mission, the Plataforma is leading several initiatives, namely legal actions and activities promoting the public opinion conscientiousness to stop the construction of the Foz Tua dam.
The Campaign
“The Last Days of Tua” campaign, has had the collaboration of film director Jorge Pelicano when producing four documentaries regarding the consequences the dam can cause in the region, through different perspectives and realities. On the four documentaries, Pedro Duarte, Manuel Queiroga, Ricardo Inverno and Aníbal Gonçalves bring attention to the Last Days of Tua through their testimony, pointing out the direct impact that filling the dam will have on their lives and on the region they live in and protect.

These real-life stories intend to raise the national and international public´s awareness to the patrimony that will be severely and irreversibly damaged if the conclusion of the dam is complete. All it takes is visiting the campaign´s website – – and send an automatic e-mail/letter to UNESCO. The letter will ask for the intervention of UNESCO in order for them to fulfill their mission of protecting the patrimony listed as world heritage, by visiting the region, meeting with all the parties affected by the dam and last but not least, a demand to include Alto Douro Vinhateiro in the list of World Heritage in Danger.


The Last Days of Tua: The Last Crop / A Última Colheita (Manuel Queiroga)

The Last Days of Tua: The Last Down-River/A última descida do rio (Ricardo Inverno)

The Last Days of Tua: The Last Walk /A Última Caminhada (Aníbal Gonçalves)

The Last Days of Tua: The Last Harvest/ A Última Vindima (Pedro Duarte)


Campaign produced by: Esporão e Plataforma Salvar o Tua / Agencies: “O Escritório” e “Comon” / Director: Jorge Pelicano / Production company: “Até ao Fim do Mundo”


More info on #savetua:


More info on Tony Butt:


Cover photo by Duarte Belo