Spain, Biodiversity & Sustainable Farming – 25th April to 2nd May 2019

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This is the first NET visit to Dehesa San Francisco. The course will be hosted by Ernestine Lüdeke.


The “dehesa” is a cultural landscape, which – through human hand – emerged from the Mediterranean hardwood forest. Agriculture and livestock breeding gave rise to a parklike landscape consisting of wide-spreading and broad cork and holm oaks, meadows and pasture.

Now days, globalization, intensification in agriculture and rural depopulation put the traditional management system of a dehesa at risk. But without farming use, the dehesa will die.

The foundation Fundación Monte Mediterráneo is managing the Dehesa San Francisco organically and sustainably following the traditional methods. Next to traditional livestock breeding with indigenous breeds, sustainable forestry is a big issue.

Themes: Sustainable & organic farming, landscape management in arid regions, farming cooperatives & processing; biodiversity management in agricultural landscapes

Draft Itinerary: Arrival at Seville and travel to the farm;

Day 2 Visit to the Nature Park Sierra de Aracena, the Nature Park and Ham Museum, alternative organic village

Day 3 Presentation of the Dehesa San Francisco Working Farm and its aims with farm activities depending on weather

Day 4 Visit to Mérida and Cork Institute of Spain, Cork Processing Company
Day 5 Visit to Villanueva de la Serena, wool processing cooperative, lamb processing cooperative; visit to a sheep farmer who practices transhumance

Day 6 Visit to Seville to meet the organic certifier (CAAE, ecovalia) and regional government (José Ramón Guzmán, Andalusian Ministry for Environment), ham processing factory

Day 7 Working day on the farm

Day 8 Visit to Seville city and departure.

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