PODCAST #07 · ANA BERLINER · REWILDING & ATTRIBUTING VALUE TO ABANDONED LAND IN PORTUGAL

PODCAST

Ana Berliner is the President of the ATN (Associação Transumância e Natureza), a not-for-profit organization set up to own and manage the Faia Brava Nature Reserve, which is a private reserve in the Côa Valley region of Portugal. The reserve was started by Ana and her husband 20+ years ago with the purchase of 20 hectares of abandoned land. Ana is also the owner of the guesthouse in the small medieval town of Castelo Rodrigo. She is an inspiring person who is the center of her community, working hard to save endangered species and bring economic development to this rural region of North Eastern Portugal.

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Read our article about Faia Brava Nature Reserve and our visit to the area here

It’s our duty, we should do something about [the endangered species]. They are also our heritage… it’s an area that has been abandoned by agriculture, now you have the nature coming back so with a little help we can do amazing things
-Ana Berliner

Ana was kind enough to host us in her beautiful guesthouse, Casa da Cisterna in Castelo Rodrigo for this discussion. We sat out on her deck watching the sunset and talked about the following:

  • Ana’s background and her connection to the Côa Valley region (~02:25)
  • Ana’s inspiration and why she became a Biologist (~04:20)
  • Why Ana and her husband picked Castelo Rodrigo as their home (~06:00)
  • Types of vultures in the region including the Griffon and the Egyptian vultures (~06:55)
  • Why Ana cares about saving endangered species in Faia Brava Nature Reserve and why should everyone care (~07:50)
  • Land abandonment in rural Portugal and how nature is coming back to these areas (~09:20)
  • How Ana and her husband created the Faia Brava Nature Reserve in Côa Valley (~10:50)
  • Challenges building up and managing Faia Brava Nature Reserve (~12:55)
  • Economic development and opportunity in and around Faia Brava for small businesses (~15:45)
  • Species that can be found in Faia Brava Nature Reserve and their population growth (~20:30)
  • Advice for others wanting to save land for conservation purposes (~24:40)
  • Activities you can do in the Faia Brava area including (~25:20):
    • Fernando’s Wildlife Portugal bird watching, hiking and photography tours (~25:50)
    • Heritage, cultural and archaeological tours (~26:50)
  • ATN’s project to reintroduce wild horses and old cow breeds to improve the ecosystem (~28:40)
  • A brief history of the medieval town of Castelo Rodrigo (~29:30)
  • Casa da Cisterna, the Castelo Rodrigo guesthouse (~31:00)
  • What’s next for the ATN including upcoming projects (~31:30)
  • Reintroduction of the Lynx into the area and what it would take to establish a permanent population (~32:40)
  • How to support the ATN’s work and become a member of the association (~37:00)
  • Final messages of inspiration (~37:50)

NOTABLE LINKS

ATN & Faia Brava

Casa da Cisterna Guesthouse:

Fernando Romão and Wildlife Portugal

To book experiences on offer in the region and other parts of Europe, check out the European Safari Company:

Sustainable Jungle Podcast Interview with Ana Berliner - Rewilding & Valuing Abandoned Portuguese Land #rewildingeurope #faiabrava #AnaBerliner #wildlifeportugal #casadacisterna #castelorodrigo #sustainabletravel

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