The ecovillage of Tamera (“Tamera Healing Biotope 1”), founded in 1995, is a community of 190 permanent residents (and 120 non-permanent inhabitants in 2012) living in a property of 133 ha located in the South of Portugal (Monte do Cerro, municipality of Odemira).
Main problems affecting the area where Tamera is located are: deteriorated soils (washed fertile topsoil layers, damaged structure, erosion and desertification) due to pressures put in the past (such overgrazing and unsuitable agricultural practices) and water quantity issues (heavy rainfalls causing flooding and, on the other side, water scarcity and droughts). The application designed and implemented consists of the creation of “Water Retention Landscapes” (i.e. “systems for the restoration of the full water cycle by retaining the water in the areas where it falls as rain” -Ulbig, 2014-) covering 5 areas (water, forest, gardens, seeds and pasture management).
Measures implemented were: reforestation and the planting of mixed-culture ground cover vegetation; holistic grazing management; keyline design; terracing; swales; and the mos well-know measure, the construction of water retention spaces in the form of decentralized lakes and ponds (interconnected permanent artificial lakes and ponds designed to retaining rainwater not sealed with concrete/plastic material and with a natural material dam with slope 1:2 as a barrier).