Jose Saramago Starts Foundation with Environmental Goals

Portuguese writer and 1998 Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago has started a foundation aimed to preserve his work that will also plead for the defense of human rights and the preservation of the environment. The foundation's principles-declaration, published in the Portuguese magazine Jornal de Letras last July 4th, claims that even though the organization "cannot solve for itself the environmental and global warming problems threatening the world" it shall "work as if it was born to it". The organization's headquarters will be in Lisbon and Lanzarote (Canary Islands, Spain), and will have two delegations: one in the writer's birthplace, the village Azinhaga do Ribatejo, and the other in Castril (Granada). Even though not much was said about the organization's goals or specific interests, this is not the first gesture the Portuguese writer has had towards green issues. In fact, he has had direct action when he launched his book The Intermittence of Death two years ago.

Via ClarinIn that occasion (October 2005), Saramago teamed with Greenpeace to request all his publishers to follow environmental norms to produce his book. It was the first time a book was printed in paper certified by FSC in Brazil, and it had certified versions in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Catalonia. He also reached to an agreement with his editorial company, Caminho, to have the future re-editions of his books also in certified paper.

The author has repeatedly showed his concern over political and environmental causes in the past.

"More than 13% of the Amazon has been destroyed or, actually, looted, before the Brazilian government's impotence. Everybody should care about this. [...] Each one of us cannot do everything, but one can certainly do something. People have to think 'I can change my small space'. Greenpeace is doing great work, but we have to go beyond that, we have to make society understand that it is necessary that all of us act", he said in 2005 during an interview with Greenpeace published in Mujer Actual website.

His new foundation will be presided by his wife, Pilar del Rio. In declarations to Jornal de Letras, Del Rio said that the foundation will be neutral and will take position for big and small causes, because as humans, they "will be interested in every issue that could concern human kind".

Interested in more celebrities green moves? Check our Culture + Celebrity category. If you want to follow Saramago's advice and go green, check our easy guides for How to Go Green for a few starters. We even have How to Green Your Book for authors!
::Original story ::Yahoo Spain story ::Saramago's auto-biography

Tags: Portugal | Spain