Analysis of the impact of the ecosystem services provided by the agricultural sector and the viability of the enactment of an ecosystem services law

November 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020
8 months

The contemporary food system, in its global and local dimensions, is a central element for the sustainability of the planet and the future of humanity. The most recent data available indicate that hunger is still in high levels and that the environmental and social conditions that allow the existence of human life on planet Earth have been degrading, putting even further the possibility of compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals. In the context of the agricultural sector, the available data evidences that sustainable food production practices of the agricultural sector and traditional knowledge applied to agriculture provide ecosystem services (ES) that promote sustainability, food security, mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
The adoption of a valorization policy of ES provided by the agricultural sector can represent a path for a paradigm shift. However, the adoption of such policy is dependent upon the existence of empirical data on the impact of national agricultural production on the provision of ES, as well as knowledge of the conditioning factors and impacts of its provision.
The overall goal of the proposed research is to support the development of an ES policy that leads to the revitalization of the rural areas and of the agricultural sector, promoting more sustainable production practices. The research will not only provide an analysis of the ES produced by the agricultural sector, having as study area the sub-region of Dão Lafões, but also consider the environmental and social impact of the valuation of the identified ES through a ES payments scheme for the agricultural sector and its interaction with the existing legal framework of the national agricultural sector.


This project is implemented under Programme LEAP - Policy Development Iniciative, supported by:

• Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

• ICPA - International Centre for Policy Advocacy

• IES-Social Business School


Thematic Mentor: José Manuel Osório de Barros de Lima e Santos, Professor, Instituto Superior de Agronomia

At CES, the project falls within the actitivities of the Ecology and Society workshop (ECOSOC).