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MEditerranean MOntainous LAndscapes: an historical approach to cultural heritage based on traditional agrosystems. (MEMOLA)

The project is an interdisciplinary approach to cultural landscapes of Mediterranean mountainous areas, takingas a central axis the historical study of two natural resources essential to generate agro-systems: water and soil.The proposal focuses on Sierra Nevada (Spain), Monti di Trapani (Italy), ColliEuganei (Italy) and Vjosa Valley(Albania).

Landscapes and their structure are strongly conditioned by the need to ensure the livelihood of rural communitiesover time.Agricultural traditions and the different ways of exploiting naturalresources including management over time are crucial for conservation of the landscape and its ability to adaptto current global changes. Conservation can be achieved through the exploitation of this heritage togenerate environmental and cultural conservation strategies for sustainable development in rural areas; with theaim of protecting this cultural heritage and, at the same time, increasing and transmitting knowledge about it inorder to benefit the local and wider European society.


Universidad de Córdoba

• MOBJ1. Investigate the logic that rules the process of historical landscapes formation in relation to natural resources within a diachronic framework. Introduce the historical perspective (4th dimension), which we consider to be a powerful interpretation key, in landscape studies.
• MOBJ2. Draw context-tailored strategies of preservation, diffusion and valorisation of the cultural heritage (both tangible and intangible) and of the environment. Stimulate sustainable development in rural areas. Analyse the efficiency of these systems and the current problems of survival within the context of global climate change and the framework of European policies.
• MOBJ3. Develop new methodologies for the study of cultural landscapes, through the creation of scalable working protocols, able to take advantage of the solid background of technologies and analysis methods available to the research group.
• MOBJ4. Use a multidisciplinary approach, thus widening the range of specialists involved in cultural heritage study to agronomist, hydrologists, botanists, hydro-geologists, geologists and architects. Promote skills hybridization in research work (both humanist and scientific aspects), prompting new forms of job creation.

• Quantitatively assess the long-term historical uses of water and soils in the study areas.
• Analysis of the productivity and resource use efficiency in the four historic sample-areas, throughagronomic and hydrological resource-management models, taking into account the global climate change, andthe EU policies and strategies (European Landscape Convention, European water policy, Common AgriculturalPolicy, Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) on Cultural Heritage and Global Change).
• Analysis of ecosystem services starting from mountain agricultural and livestock spaces in theMediterranean.
• Proposals for improving resources-use efficiency and conservation of cultural landscapes associatedwith traditional agricultural and livestock activities, in order to contribute to a sustainable development of thestudy areas from a social and environmental point of view, while enhancing their heritage and natural values.

D5.1. Report on the final land use distribution model.
D5.2. Report on the final water use efficiency model.
D5.3. Pedology report.
D5.4. Report on vegetation mapping and Landscape Conservation.
D5.5. Water Evaluation Report.
D5.7. Land Evaluation Report.
D6.1. Report on the historical trajectory of agroecosystems.
D6.2. Ecosystem services report.
D6.3. Report on sustainability of resource use and management.
D9.6. Guidelines on agroecosystem management rules and alternative practices.
D9.7. Guidelines on criteria for the design of policies for sustainable development.

• Better comprehension ofthe formation processes of historical landscapes, thus implementing and improving strategies for conservation andprotection of these territories.
• Help local institutions and communities in pursuing better decision-making on territory,environment and heritage and enhance the sense of belonging to a common European identity.
• Specific conservation proposals involve improving efficiency in the use of resources without losing thevalues and traditional uses that structure and maintain the landscapes.
• According to the strong dissemination of all results carried out by the project, we expect a touristicdevelopment in these areas, many of them impoverished and with high youth unemployment rate.
• Alternative, integrated natural resources management approaches will be identified, leading to anevaluation framework that explicitly determines the relative advantages and disadvantages of all of thesepractices and the tradeoffs involved.
• A set of assessment criteria for environmental services of the Mediterranean mountain agroecosystemswill be defined.
• The results of the project will serve as a reference of the key aspects to be considered in drawing upproposals for mountain agroecosystem management rules (EU policies) that have a positive impact onecosystem.
• It is expected to create, in the future, an interdisciplinaryresearch network regarding cultural heritage landscape, allowing collaboration with other institutions and governmentagencies that have an involvement in heritage conservation and protection.

Relaciones suelo-agua-planta

Code PAIDI: AGR-119

Elías Fereres Castiel. Partner. 

Universidad de Córdoba

Budget of Andalusian group: € 529,949.60

Keywords: Cultural Landscape, Landscape Archaeology,Land Use Evaluation, Soil, Water,Ecosystem Service, Mediterranean Mountain, Agrosystem
Duration: 48 months. January, 1th 2014 to December, 31th 2017
Project cost: € 2,959,834.00