The environmental services of the montado are valued at least 100 euros per year per hectare. A study of the Corticeira Amorim and the European Cork Confederation (C. E. Liège), which focused on the Herdade de Machoqueira do Grou (with forest management certified by the Forest Stewardship Council), in the municipality of Coruche, a property of 2423 hectares with different soil uses, including 1000 hectares of oak, concluded that the services of the ecosystem analysed are worth at least 100 euros per hectare per year – which, in the case studied, represents a total value of 100,000 euros per year.
This study confirms the importance of cork products and their real impact on the viability of the cork oak montados, paving the way to enabling the remuneration of ecosystem services through public funding, for example, and also permits the establishment of relations between good forest management practices and the level of services of the ecosystem, by providing forest landowners with practical information about the effects of management practices on the services of the ecosystem.
The research shows that “the maintenance, preservation and valorisation of this natural asset – the cork oak forest – is of huge economic importance to the country, not only for the production of cork that gives Portugal the world leadership in this sector, but also for the social, economic and environmental value of the various services rendered”.
The characterisation of environmental services at property level is one of the innovative aspects of this study, as well as the causal relations established between the practices of agroforestry management and services of the ecosystem. We analysed four categories of services: support services (for example, the water cycle), provisioning (the production of food and raw materials, for example), regulation (for example, pollination and erosion control) and cultural services (for example, tourism and education).
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