1. Regulatory framework of the dehesa/montado
This Activity is divided into three actions:
1.1 Creation of a competent Committee to work on the regulatory framework adapted to current needs and characteristics of dehesas and montados.
The dehesa is an agroforestry system resulting from the simplification, in structure and species, of Mediterranean forests, carrying out activities such as grazing, forestry, farming and hunting. Although the dehesa has been described numerous times as a system of sustainable management, due to the high socio-economic values it has - biodiversity, endangered species, erosion control, scenic quality, … -, in recent years, numerous studies have shown that this is not the case under the current management guidelines.
The crisis the dehesas are suffering as a result of their low economic profitability and environmental degradation has generated a growing concern among owners and economic and social agents that requires an urgent response from the public administration and the applied research industry. This effort should serve to reconcile the economically and socially cost-effective utilisation of resources and the conservation of natural and cultural values of the dehesas. An improved coordination among the different actors involved in the management of the dehesa and the search for consensus is the objective of the creation of the competent Committee, taking into account the difficulty for managing a multidisciplinary system that integrates many utilisations.
The creation of this committee is set on becoming permanent integrating all actors and sectors involved, from administrations, to technological centres, business representatives of different sectors of the dehesa and the representatives of the owners. This committee will work on the regulatory framework adapted to current needs and characteristics of dehesas and montados, to promote their sustainability. Only a framework of consensus of the actors will facilitate the promotion of business investment. On the other hand, the Committee will work on dissemination and valorisation of the dehesa in Europe and participation in European decision-making forums, as currently it is under represented.
The Committee would meet every three months at the Cicytex headquarters in a work session.
1.2 Analysis of the regulatory framework that affects both dehesas and montados
We are at a crucial moment in the drafting of the regulatory framework that will affect the dehesas in the future.
The current legislative situation tends to consider agricultural and forestry components separately, and to scatter management competences between the various national and regional bodies. Although all those involved in the management of the dehesa are aware of the difficulties that consensus entails, there are also sufficient common elements for reconciling economic and socially cost-effective utilisation of resources and conservation of the natural and cultural values of the dehesas.
For all those affected by the dehesa, developing a proposal for a future law of the dehesa is essential, establishing planning, conservation, improvement and revitalisation of the dehesas. In recent times mobilisation of the economic actors has been integrated with the existence of a strong political will to design and approve new public regulations that pursue in the dehesas improving private and social returns, as well as an impulse for the differentiation of products obtained under environmentally responsible criteria. In addition, regulations that affect livestock production imposed from the EU never consider the complexity of these management systems, treating intensive farms in the same way as those where animals graze in large areas. Similarly, research work conducted from different areas requires a coordination and orientation as a back-up to ensure a better utilisation of resources. It is urgent to take measures to promote the maintenance of the dehesa and its differentiated productions, which require an increase in value according to their inherent quality.
This will ensure the survival of the breeds, their management and their natural environment. Future national legislation could contribute to a more efficient implementation of the CAP for this system. With regard to the Portuguese part, the situation is similar. There are no specific measures for the montado in the policies and in addition the Centro Nacional de Valorização dos Montados ceased its activity in 2011 losing the only public structure specifically dedicated to the Montado.
Four sector tables will be created on autonomous and national regulations, aid, European strategy and standardisation of channels of the company's participation in regulatory decisions that affect the dehesa/montado that will meet every three months in the headquarters of Cicytex.
1.3 Tools for the effective implementation of a participatory process throughout the Project
Know the opinion of citizens and of social and economic agents on the main problems of the dehesas/montados or have direct information on the determinants that make it difficult in each area of activity or of social relationship, the achievements of sustainability will help, without a doubt, to decision-making by the authorities to favour the sustainability processes.