Andre Vieira

Barroso: An Ancient Farming Culture in Northern Portugal Becomes a World Heritage
Location: Ericeira, Portugal
Nationality: Brazilian
Biography: I am a Brazilian visual storyteller and journalist currently based in Portugal. My work focuses on the relationship between humans and the natural world at a time in which their harmonious coexistence is crucial for the future of both. I have... MORE
Public Story
Barroso: An Ancient Farming Culture in Northern Portugal Becomes a World Heritage
Copyright Andre Vieira 2022
Updated Apr 2021
Topics Agriculture, Capitalism, Climate Change, Community, Conservation, Documentary, Energy, Energy transition, Environment, Food, Globalization, Green economy, Lifestyle, Lithium, Loss, Photography, Reporting, Technology, World heritage
    The Barroso region, in the mountains of northern Portugal, is one of the most isolated and poor in the country. It’s known for its harsh climate, rough terrain, and stunning beauty. Over the centuries its residents developed a complex system of agriculture and cattle ranching that relies on the collective management of the water resources, forests, and the wild pastures used by their animals. It is a method that has kept the soil fertile, rivers and springs clean, the landscape unblemished, and their communitarian cultural traditions alive.    
    In 2018 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations denominated the Barroso a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS), which distinguishes areas "characterized by remarkable agrobiodiversity, traditional knowledge, invaluable cultures, and landscapes, sustainably managed by farmers, herders, fisherfolk, and forest people in ways that contribute to their livelihoods and food security”., the second region to receive such designation in Europe.    
    The title was a morale booster for residents, who saw an opportunity to benefit from the new status by certifying their products as Protected Designation of Origin to highlight the environmentally friendly way in which they are produced. They also saw an opportunity to take advantage of the fact that Portugal became one of the hottest touristic destinations in Europe to promote their region as a prime location for eco-tourism.
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Barroso: An Ancient Farming Culture in Northern Portugal Becomes a World Heritage by Andre Vieira
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