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Systèmes Ingénieux du Patrimoine Agricole Mondial (SIPAM)

Agricultural Heritage System in Serra Do Espinhaço Meridional in Minas Gerais

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Summary

The agriculture system in Serra do Espinhaꞔo is locate in a Brazilian savannah region. The area covers approximately 100.000 hectares and includes six communities. It is mostly represented by mountainous highlands so that the site could be described as a series of environments of flattened fields in the high-altitude areas and adjoining ridges, steep slopes and deep valleys intersected by water bodies reaching plains in the landscape’s lowlands where there are drainage areas near the river bed.

The peculiarity of the site is the particular combination of agriculture, grazing and extractive activities that contributed to the creation of a polyculture system controlled by rural families in area of native vegetation. The communities’ territorial practices combine environments at higher altitudes such as native flower gathering and livestock grazing on native vegetation with foothill activities. Seasonally the area is affected by the transhumance of families and local groups. This system is the result of the inhabitants’ adaptation to adverse environment conditions and it has been developed from the use of the territory potentialities generating at the same time a high socio-ecological resilience.