Reference Regions

Reference Regions » Sierra Morena (Spain)
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Sierra Morena (Spain)

Description of the Reference Region

Sierra Morena is located in the south-west of the Iberian Peninsula. It is part of a unique socio-ecosystem and bio-cultural landscape called Dehesa in Spain and Montado in Portugal. Dehesas are multi-functional agro-silvo-pastoral system where agriculture, forestry and grazing are combined. Dehesas are the heart of the productive sector in Sierra Morena, and give a relevant identity to the region.

As a consequence of climate change, dehesas are currently facing different challenges such as droughts, spread of pests and disease, etc. Moreover, dehesas also suffer from socio-economic impacts of being a rural area with natural constraints.

Selected Value Chain

The selected value chain (VC) is Los Pedroches Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Iberian Ham (Jamón Ibérico). Iberian ham is a high-quality product embedded in the dehesa social-ecological-system. The PDO represents the strong link of the product with the locality and its constant quality assurance.

This value chain represents one of the key social-ecological interactions in the Sierra Morena Mountain reference region. Iberian ham is associated with a territorial identity. It is one of the key traditional food products nationwide, and very well-known at both national and international levels.

Both the high quality end product and the landscape of the dehesa are the result of the centuries-old coexistence between shepherds and oak forests. Climate change, overgrazing, land abandonment, youth migration, competitive markets’ challenges, among other factors, are threatening the future of the dehesas.

Multi-Actor Platform (MAP) members

The Multi-Actor Platform is composed of the key actors of the Iberian ham value chain, which includes breeders, producers, landowners, researchers, technicians, public authorities, businesses, cooperatives, PDO actors, NGOs, and civil society. It also aims to focus on the interactions of this VC with other traditional and innovative VCs rooted in the dehesas (e.g., cork production and rural and astronomic tourism).

Publications & events

MOVING Leaflet

Video: MOVING: Valorización de la Montaña a través de la Interconectividad y del Crecimiento Sostenible

Article: Building synergies with local actors in Los Pedroches

Article: Face-to-face workshop on the value chain of the Iberian Ham PDO Los Pedroches

Policy Brief: Iberian Ham PDO – Los Pedroches

Article: Participatory vulnerability analysis in the Reference Region of Sierra Morena

Practice Abstract (1st set): The taste of dehesa: Los Pedroches PDO Iberian Ham (Jamón Ibérico) value chain

Article: Drought and demographic change put at risk the Iberian ham value chain in Spain

Video: Vulnerability and resilience of the Iberian Ham value chain (ES & EN)

Practice Abstract (2nd set): Main aspects of boosting the contribution of PDO Iberian ham to the sustainability and resilience of the Sierra Morena mountains (EN & ES)

Article: A possible future for youth in the Sierra Morena Reference Region

Final Policy Brief: Iberico Ham “Los Pedroches” PDO


María del Mar Delgado-Serrano
University of Córdoba

Carmen Maestre-Díaz
University of Córdoba

Javier Moreno-Ortiz
University of Córdoba