Maronesa is a breed of cattle from northern Portugal whose meat has protected status under the EUs Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) regime. The abandonment of mountain pasture areas for these cattle on common land in recent decades has resulted in increased growth of scrub (in particular heaths) and the loss of perennial good quality pastures. This not only reduces carbon storage in soils but also, together with weather trends, increases the risk of wildfires, which further exacerbate these problems.

In this context, the LIFE MARONESA project aims to implement climate change adaptation strategies through a sustainable model of extensive livestock production. It addresses the problem of abandonment of mountain pastures, particularly in communal wastelands, the increase in the intensity of rural summer fires, the reduction of the carbon stock sequestered in the organic matter of soils in mountain areas and the reduction of the Maronesa cattle breed.

Its main objective is to improve the climate resilience of livestock farms and promote increased retention of carbon in soil organic matter.

The project is based on a demonstration model of sustainable agricultural and livestock practices, which has been implemented by a frontline producer, and will be implemented in four replication areas, through producers who follow this model of exploitation. The intervention areas are located in the 4 most representative municipalities of the Maronesa breed, Vila Pouca de Aguiar, Vila Real, Ribeira de Pena and Mondim de Basto, the region with the largest number of Maronesa cattle farms.

Project information


AguiarFloresta - Associao Florestal e Ambiental de Vila Pouca de Aguiar


IPB (Instituto Politécnico de Bragança), Portugal

ACM (ACM - Associação de Criadores do Maronês), Portugal

CB (Casal da Bouça, Sociedade Agropecuária, Lda.), Portugal

Reference information


Published in Climate-ADAPT Oct 21, 2022   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Dec 12, 2023

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