Exchange of good practices

in Portugal

Good practice in CIMO – Centro de Investigação de Montanha (Mountain Research Center):

  CIMO – Centro de Investigação de Montanha (Mountain Research Center) is a multidisciplinary research unit focused on mountain issues based at the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal, and part of the national research network funded by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT).



The Centre follows an interdisciplinary approach based on an applied research strategy covering issues and expertise that goes from Nature (raw materials, natural resources, biodiversity, agriculture and forest management) to Products (Food or Bio-based materials).

  CIMO aims to promote research in mountain areas according to the best international practices, promoting scientific observation and experimental development for the conservation, exploitation and scientific valorisation of biodiversity, natural resources, farming and forest systems, and mountain products; to develop sustainable land use systems, improving endogenous research competencies; and linking research and stakeholders promoting sustainable development in mountain areas. CIMO is socially committed at enhancing opportunities and income for and in mountain areas.

  The centre has currently 116 members, 56 of which with a PhD degree, specialists in a wide range of fields in life, physical and social sciences, and engineering. This diversity of backgrounds and expertise allows the Centre to be remarkably multidisciplinary which suits CIMO’s main subject of study: complex physical-biological-human mountain systems.

  There are two research groups:



The Socio-Ecological Systems group aims to address the following scientific and sustainability challenges:

 
  • Innovation in the agro-food chains and networks
  • Circular economy in productive sectors in mountain areas
  • Resource use efficiency (inputs, energy, labour) in agriculture, forestry, water management and other fields
  • Multifunctionality of mountain systems and provision of highly valuable ecosystem services
  • Resilience and adaptation and other responses of mountain systems to global change
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem function under global change
 

This research group is dedicated to productive systems in mountain areas and the products of these systems. All systems addressed in Socio-Ecological Systems produce goods and services. Production goods in this Group are raw materials for Group 2 (Sustainable Processes and Products) where they will be transformed and valorized. Sustainable Products group aims to address challenges such as:
  • Development of sustainable processes and methodologies (lab- and pilot-scale) to be applied as engineering tools in the design and manufacturing of intermediate and final products;
  • Development of sustainable products and materials for application in different industrial sectors: economic, environmental and social valorisation of mountain ecosystems in an integrated approach with the other R&I area (Socio-ecological Systems);
  • Integration of technological and engineering knowledge with core knowledge on chemical, biochemical, biological, and pharmaceutical sciences to generate, in a cooperative and interdisciplinary scientific/technological environment, innovative products;
  • Development of natural and bio-based ingredients through green and sustainable processes and valorisation in added-value innovative products;
  • Working in industrial symbiosis to enable the completion of productive chains with relevance at regional, national and international levels;
  • Innovative products that meet consumer’s growing expectations, ensuring consumer safety, according to the applied legislation.


   
 

  Good practice in a forest area near to the city: Montesinho Natural Park.



Montesinho Natural Park is one of the country’s largest natural parks. It is located in the region of Trás – os – Montes (in the Northeast region), encompassing the northern part of the councils of Bragança and Vinhais, which make up the so-called “Terra Fria Transmontana” (Cold Land of Trás-os-Montes). The park features two large mountains – Serra da Coroa (west side) and Serra de Montesinho (east side), which names the Park.

      


The participants have a chance to visit a example of Nature Tourism in the Montesinho Natural Park:

 

Cepo Verde camping and caravanning, bungalows and rotative micro cabin.



Designated as one of the best national campsites, this is the only privately-run campsite in the Northeast region, being certified by ICNF as a Nature Tourism business, also bearing the international environmental quality seal from GreenKey. Cepo Verde campsite is located in a mountain highland, densely covered by chestnut trees, oaks and cherry trees, on a spot marked by IGESPAR as an ancient Roman site.



Open since 1993, this is a quiet and family-oriented campsite, with extraordinary landscape and surroundings. There are clearly marked hiking trails nearby. Visitors will be able to contemplate the world’s biggest pocket knife, registered in the Guinness Book of World Records, which is exhibited in the campsite.

Offering 40 individual spots, all of them with plenty of shade for tents, caravans and mobile homes, the campsite can accommodate 140 people. The spots are individual and independent, thus assuring a maximum comfort and privacy.

The participants had the opportunity to try a very typical local dinner (meat of wild animals, vegetables and forest products).

Taking advantage of the occasion, a collaborating partner of the project, a local producer of chestnuts, came to the place to talk about the chestnut tree, its production and maintenance.



Located in the European territory cataloged as the largest exporter of chestnuts in Europe. The climatology, the ecological needs, the pruning, the competition between plants were discussed. The problem of phyto-pests and damage to plantations was also addressed: ink, canker, insects, etc. Their concern, in addition to the most obvious problems of chestnut cultivation, was the situation in the market: “The demand of chestnuts is on the rise “; but he was distrustful. It mentions a new product [the dehydrated chestnuts] that is being tested to use all the chestnuts that do not meet the requirements of export and/or fresh sale “Normally we would throw a few tons”, this is presented as a way of diversification of the sector.

Good practice in a Biological Park of Vinhais.

 

The Biological Park of Vinhais (PBV) is a public facility, built by the Municipality of Vinhais in the Vadairo Florestal de Prada, a place included in the Forestry Perimeter of Serra da Coroa, just 3km from the center of Vinhais and in the Natural Park of Montesinho.



The vegetation of the surrounding area is dominated by the forests of oak (Quercus pyrenaica), present in much of the territory. However, the banks of the water lines and bottom of the valleys are occupied by riparian amaryllis (Alnus glutinosa), black willow (Salix atrocinerea), Calamagrostis arundinacea, Carex elata subsp. reuterian, Galium broterianum, water-sucking (Frangula alnus), Oenanthe crocata, royal-fern (Osmunda regalis), Scrophularia scorodonia and Stachys sylvatica. On the slopes the heaths, heath-tojais and tojais, as well as the giestais in deeper grounds cover the uncultivated landscape.

  The very particular and complex character of the geology of the park’s area of implantation (ultrabasic massif Bragança-Vinhais) also determines a very characteristic flora and vegetation, where some endemics appear, limited in most cases to small ultrabasic zones, such as cravina (Dianthus laricifolius subsp. marizii), the armeria (Arenaria querioides subsp. fontiqueri), Jasione crispa subsp. serpentinica and the herbaceous Festuca brigantina and Avenula lusitanica.

  The very particular and complex character of the geology of the park’s area of implantation (ultrabasic massif Bragança-Vinhais) also determines a very characteristic flora and vegetation, where some endemics appear, limited in most cases to small ultrabasic zones, such as cravina (Dianthus laricifolius subsp. marizii), the armeria (Arenaria querioides subsp. fontiqueri), Jasione crispa subsp. serpentinica and the herbaceous Festuca brigantina and Avenula lusitanica.

  Faced with this natural diversity, the Park has the following advantages:
  • Interpretation of the region’s landscape, natural components (flora, fauna and geography), cultural (history, archeology and ethnography) and environmental education;
  • Conservation of nature and promotion of biodiversity;
  • Development of tourism, especially ecotourism, recreation and leisure of the population




  Next to this park is located a mycological interpretation center.

In this equipment of interpretation of the wild mycological resources, it is possible to deepen the knowledge on the diversity of species and associated gastronomy and to lay the foundations in the identification of fungi, to provide the usufruct of the field trips and to enjoy the mycological riches of the Natural Park of Montesinho.

Promotor



la asociación transnacional