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Title: The ambiguous role of agri-environment-climate measures in the safeguarding of High Nature Value Farming Systems: The case of the Montado in Portugal
Authors: Azeda, Carla
Guiomar, Nuno
Godinho, Sérgio
Medeiros, João Paulo
Pinto-Correia, Teresa
Keywords: Agri-environment-climate measures
High Nature Value Farming Systems
Grazing management
Issue Date: 26-Jul-2021
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Azeda, C., Guiomar, N., Godinho, S., Medeiros, J. P., & Pinto-Correia, T. (2021). The ambiguous role of agri-environment-climate measures in the safeguarding of High Nature Value Farming Systems: The case of the Montado in Portugal. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 319, 107562.
Abstract: The preservation of High Nature Value farmland (HNVf) is essential for meeting many of the new European Union (EU) Green Deal targets, as they correspond to production systems which respect the preservation of natural resources and support multiple ecosystem services. However, most of the farming systems on which HNVf rely cannot survive without support from public policies. Typically, these are low intensity and low agrochemical input systems, such as the Montado in southern Portugal, a silvo-pastoral land use system adapted to the Mediterranean constraints encountered in the region. Agri-environment-climate measures (AECM) within the EU Common Agricultural Policy, despite their multiple objectives, provide great potential for supporting the conservation of HNVf. However, for this to happen, the measures in place must ensure the maintenance of the low intensity farming practices that led to the HNV status of these systems in the first place. Using an extensive cattle production system in a Montado area as a case study, this paper assesses whether if the implementation of the AECM for Integrated production and the AECM for Organic production, are indeed supporting a less intensive management of this multifunctional land use system and, thus, its HNV. These are two well-known horizontal measures, which can be applied across all farmland and are therefore of major relevance in promoting environmental performance of farming across the EU. The results of our study show that overall, none of these AECM is promoting less intensive management practices in Montado areas, and they therefore do not contribute to the conservation of their natural value. Furthermore, the results underline the importance of grazing management to understand the ongoing changes in many Montado areas. Lastly, the results also show that horizontal AECM are barely able to provide consistent environmental benefits in systems with a high level of complexity as found in silvo-pastoral systems.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:MED - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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