Conservation of cultural landscapes in the LTER region of Montado in Portugal.
The Montado is a unique form of agro-sylvo-pastoral system endemic to the Mediterranean basin that is centred around the Cork tree; Quercus suber. It is a complex, productive system with high ecological and socio-economic relevance given the system is a key employer in Portugal. Despite the highly sustainable management of cork that takes place in Montado , the system is under threat from several factors including rural abandonment, tree mortality; depreciation of the cork market value; replacement of cork with high production forests as well as overgrazing, air pollution and climate change.
Given the importance of the Montado, we at OPERAs are employing the ecosystem services and natural capital concepts to combine the practice, productive, ecological as well as cultural aspects of socio-ecological systems to promote improved management of cork trees and help facilitate wellbeing of Montado for generations to come.
In order to achieve these aims we will be working alongside owners and managers of Montado systems to develop scenarios and create ES maps to create permanent, active and direct engagement with ecosystem services. Furthermore, we will be holding workshops with other stakeholders such as business enterprises, Government institutions and environmental NGOs to establish in order to understand their perceptions on Montado.