Portuguese biosphere reserve awards environmentally-friendly farmers

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Located in central Portugal and comprising a freshwater wetland surrounded by biodiversity-rich marshes, the Paul de Boquilobo Biosphere Reserve has been promoting a set of actions aimed at raising awareness of good agricultural and environmental practices in the territory.

Managed by Agrotejo and Agromais, two farmers’ organisations that are part of the biosphere reserve governance, the annual award is divided into several categories, such as Best Producer by Culture by type of crop, Best Young Farmer, the Farmer with the Greatest Social Responsibility, among others. In 2018, the Biospheric Farmer Award was also instituted. It aims to recognise the farmer who, during the year, developed actions of recognised merit, within the scope of the activities and objectives of the Paul do Boquilobo Biosphere Reserve.

Last year, the award went to Manuel Tavares Veiga for his internationally recognised work in the genetic improvement of indigenous equestrian breeds, namely the Lusitano horse. The award highlighted the sustainable use of pastures with great concern to maintain rural traditions.

The award has been shedding light on various local sustainable practices, prompting the exchange of knowledge between farmers and its replication throughout the biosphere reserve.

One of Portugal’s 11 biosphere reserves, Paul de Boquilobo was designated by UNESCO in 1981.