The project has its basis on different common problems that the project regions are currently facing: the decrease of shepherds working with animals in extensive regime and the large wildfires that visit us every summer. In the first case, silvopastoralism has always been a common practice in the Mediterranean region, being characterized for the presence of extensive livestock grazing in forest ecosystems. The exploitation of the vegetation of these areas brings a wide range of ecosystem services to society such as high-quality meat and milk, biomass extraction, cultural landscapes or wildfire prevention. However, the lack of chances to make silovopastoralism an economically sustainable activity has caused an important descent of exploitations. In the second case, wildfires are visiting Europe every summer with more intensity and more hectares burnt, like recent episodes in Portugal or Greece, compromising the safety of extinction services and neighbors, and the recovering of ecosystems, as well.
For the reasons explained above, it is very important to start managing the forest again, as it was done decades ago. To do so, a proper training of shepherds from the next generations is a key action if we want to achieve a fire resilient landscape.
The network that we want to create will be composed of academic partners, but also different non-academic bodies involved in the management of certain areas. These two visions collaborate to feed with contents the study module, and to exchange the results of different real experiences. At the same time, the study module will be part of shepherds schools study programs dealing with issues such as livestock management, wildfire risk, landscape change or public-private land management.
On the other hand, another key action of the project are the intellectual outputs (IO). There are going to be 4 different IO developed during the project: shepherds competence analysis, study module, study platform to host the module and best practices factsheets.