Castro Laboreiro: reconciling biodiversity and rural livelihoods

This case study illustrates how innovative forms of land management and agro-environment subsidies were developed and implemented in Castro Laboreiro, a small mountain community in Northern Portugal. We assess the innovative ways by which local communities, in cooperation with regional institutions (e.g. Peneda-Gerês National Park), organized themselves in order to access public funds (national and European) for reconciling biodiversity and rural livelihoods. Therefore, this case focus on both social (new forms of organizations) and economic innovations (new forms of getting funding). This case illustrates that new forms of land management might imply the reconciling of these two types of “innovation”. This case is based on reconciling interests between the management of the Peneda-Gerês National Park (PNPG), the department of the ministry of agriculture for Northern Portugal (DRAP-N) and local land managers, including farmers, commoners, their communal land management organizations, and other local stakeholders. Some stakeholders aim a developing agricultural activities on the land, for example grazing activities. Other stakeholders want to promote wildlife and rewilding, for tourism or conservation goals. Enhancing multi-functionality, by simultaneous protecting biodiversity and and promoting rural livelihoods, was the approach chosen by the different actors.

reconciling biodiversity and rural livelihoods
Castro Laboreiro
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