Created in 2015 this project aims at:
- Restore Montado ecosystem through tree planting.
- Generate income for farmers through productive tree planting.
- Promote sustainable agriculture and agroforestry systems.
- Improve landscape scenic beauty.
“It is a great suport for us, smallholders, so we can broaden our horizons and support our planet.” – Tânia Costa
Southern Portugal is notably known for the Montado landscape, a historical silvopastural system implemented for centuries in the Alentejo and Algarve regions as well as in the south west of Spain.
As cork oak is the main crop cultivated within the Montado, Portugal is the leading exporter of cork, providing about 50% of the world’s cork supply.
The southern part of the country is severely impacted by climate change with dire consequences: irregular raining season and then dry summers leading to a higher number of fires, desertification, biodiversity loss… Moreover, a growing number of hectares of Montado landscapes are cleared by Spanish companies, attracted by the lower value of land compared to Spain, in order to plant super intensive olive trees plantation.
Therefore, the need to plant trees within agroforestry system such as the Montado system is crucial to slow down the deterioration of the local ecosystems.
The ADPM association (Associação de Defesa do Património Mértola) supports young farmers in the Alentejo region and trains them to agroecological techniques. The project integrates trees in and around farms, improving agricultural productivity and protecting crops from droughts and high temperatures.
Trees will also be planted along the water courses to preserve local water ressources. Creating ecological corridors complements the plantations to develop various ecosystem services for farmers (pollination, shade, microclimate, etc).
LocationBaixo Alentejo province, Portugal
Agroforestry and reforestation
Local partnerAssociação de Defesa do Património de Mértola (ADPM)
ParticipantsConventional and young organic farmers
Achievements16,328 planted trees
The Associação de Defesa do Património de Mértola is a Portuguese NGO created in 1980 to take part in the sustainable development of Mertola (Alentejo). Its actions support farmers willing to strengthen the sustainability of their farms (organic farming, integrated production, permanent crops, extensive grazing…) Since 2008, a program was launched to support young farmers interested in organic production.
The participants of this project are conventional farmers interested in innovative sustainable agricultural practices as well as young organic farmers.