"Montado: Produzir e Conservar" - Payment for environmental results in the Portuguese Montado
Our result-based scheme for the Montado is under construction.
The Montado (Dehesa in Spain) is a highly multifunctional sylvo-pastoral system. Despite the public goods it supports and its role on new economies in the region, the Montado has been in decay. The result-based agri-environmental payments opens new possibilities for the much required adaptive management at the farm level.
This scheme aims at rewarding farmers for improvements in the conservation of the Montado ecosystem. Specific environmental results envisaged are i) A healthy and functional soil; ii) Improvement of oak tree regeneration; iii) Conservation of Mediterranean biodiverse pastures and iv) Conservation of key elements that promote biodiversity.
The innovative process of co-construction of this scheme involves farmers, public officers and researchers in the different steps of development of the scheme which aims for application as a pilot case, in a Natura 2000 site and its surroundings, in Alentejo, South Portugal.
Location of the schemeone region
Natura 2000 site - Monfurado and surroundings. Central Alentejo (region), South of Portugal.
Duration of the schemeSince: Under construction
Until: Under construction
Objective(s) of the scheme / project
- Erosion control
Oak tree regeneration
Soil health and functions
Which habitats or species are in the focus of the scheme / project?
- Habitats (incl. habitats of Fauna-Flora-Habitat-Directive (FFH-D.))
- Landscape elements
Montados (Quercus spp.) with natural or semi-natural pasture and extensive grazing; Water lines with riparian galeries; Mediterranean temporary ponds (all listed in Annex I)
Soil; Biodiverse mediterranean pasture; Small woodlets of Quercineas/Pinus; Shrub patches.
Which indicators are used?
- Habitats (incl FFH and BD)
- Landscape Elements
- Physical structures (e.g. dead wood, presence of brushwood, hollow trees, tall grass)
A set of indicators (visual) are currently in field test. The indicators are organized acording to the targeted results:
Healthy and funcitonal soil:
1-Pasture floristic composition differentiation underneath and out of the tree canopy
2- Cover of negative indicator species
3- Bare soil and rosion signs
Oak tree regeneration:
4- Regeneration density
5- Conservation status of the regeneration
Mediterranean biodiverse pasture:
6- Equilibrium of pasture functional groups
7- Amount of overgrazing indicator pasture species
8- Amount of dead vegetation
9- Amount of shrub encroachment
10- Presence of key elements that promote biodiversity
11- Conservation status of key elements that promote biodiversity.
Design of scheme / project
- Hybrid result based payment with complementary management based payments
How are the incentives (payment levels) calculated?
- Based on the costs of management actions
Isabel Ferraz de Oliveira
MED - Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development
Universidade de Évora
Apt 94, 7006-554 Évora, Portugal
The Montado is the dominant land use system in the Alentejo region, Southern Portugal, and is quite similar to the Dehesa in the Southwest of Spain. It is an agro-silvopastoral extensive production system with differentiated products and to which high levels of biodiversity are associated. The open tree cover mostly composed of Quercus rotundifolia and Quercus suber in changing densities, provides forest products as wood for charcoal, cork and acorns. The trees provide shelter, both in the summer and in the winter, for the livestock grazing in the undercover. The undercover is composed of biodiverse native or cultivated pastures, combined with shrubs in varied densities. It is a highly multifunctional system providing multiple benefits to society. However, the decline of the Montado due to loss of tree density and a more or less extensive absence of tree regeneration, is now an unavoidable reality recognized by all actors actively involved with it – producers, researchers, public administration, NGOs and users.
(in: Ferraz-de-Oliveira MI, Guimarães MH, Pinto-Correia T(2019) The Montado case study Co-construction of locally-led innovative solutions. La Cañada, 31: 16-17. ISSN 1027-2070)