Getting to know the MADRES-Sierra de las Nieves project

May 22, 2023

Author: María Ruiz Álvarez de Perea (MADRE project)

Editor: Raphael Garcia (AEIDL)

On 18 April, the Shepherds Association for the Mediterranean Mountain and the Spanish Society of Organic Agriculture unveiled their latest initiative: the MADRES-Sierra de las Nieves project in the municipality of Tolox, Malaga, in Spain. The project was presented to the mayors of the 9 municipalities that make up the Sierra de las Nieves, as well as to the managers of the Mancomunidad de Municipios and the Rural Development Group.

This initiative aims to promote cooperation in the agro-livestock sector, rural development, and generational change in Sierra de las Nieves, a region classified as a Mountain Biosphere Reserve and identified in the MOVING’S briefing on protected natural sites within the project region Betic System (Spain).

Financed by the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, the MADRES-Sierra de las Nieves project focuses on four key areas: promoting association between producers and consumers, training and research for local product development, developing sustainable agrotourism activities in the National Park, and educational and environmental awareness-raising activities for the general public and school children.

Mayors and local stakeholders showed great interest in these vital topics for the region’s development, particularly in terms of transforming animal products, conserving biodiversity and preventing fires.

The Shepherds Association for the Mediterranean Mountain is a diverse collective of professionals who collaborate in the promotion and development of Mediterranean pastoralism. The group includes shepherds and farmers who work with the Andalusian Network of Grazing Areas and Firebreaks (RAPCA), forestry technicians and environmental agents with responsibilities for managing and protecting natural spaces, as well as the “Pastures and Mediterranean Silvopastoral Systems” research team at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

The MADRES-Sierra de las Nieves project is a valuable initiative that will help promote sustainable development and improve the quality of life in this Mountain Biosphere Reserve.  It has the potential to generate synergies with other similar projects and continue fighting for the region’s mountain areas.