The summer of 2017 was one of the driest ever in the Iberian Peninsula. “Months of high temperatures and no rain causes worst drought this century” reported Euronews last October. Satellite photos have been illustrating for years the pace at which the Southern Iberian Peninsula is getting drier as if the Sahara desert has found a door into Europe and made itself at home in this part of the world. In the southern Iberian Peninsula, the Mediterranean forest often overlaps with agricultural areas. Montados (Portugal) and dehesas (Spain) are agro-forestry-pastoral systems where multiple uses of land are traditionally combined. Here, the dominant forest species are the evergreen Quercus suber (cork oak, distributed on the Atlantic side of southern Portugal) and Quercus ilex subsp. rotundifolia (holm oak, distributed on the Mediterranean side of southern Portugal and Spain). There are also some areas dominated by the descendants of the primordial Q. robur and pine forests. The area covered by the Mediterranean forest is a biodiversity hotspot, holding about 25000 species, 50% of which are endemic. Last century’s agricultural revolution led to the indiscriminate cut of these trees to make way for the big machinery and large-scale dryland agriculture (cereal production). In areas profoundly threaten by drought, indiscriminate tree-cutting has aggravated soil erosion, reduced the available feed for grazing stock in the summer, reduced shadow opportunities under a torching sun, lead to the loss of habitat for fauna and flora, and reduced the self-restoration ability of these agro-forest-ecosystems drastically. In addition, the severe drop in cereal prices observed in the last decades has led to land abandonment, creating the ideal conditions for social and environmental desertification. Furthermore, the disease “oak decline” has been aggravated by the increasing levels of environmental stress (drought, mechanical damage by heavy machinery, negligent management including lax pruning techniques and uncontrolled undergrowth vegetation), extensively affecting the remaining trees. Fortunately, good examples of new investment in forestry and agriculture, with an emphasis on integrated management of the agro-ecosystem, are now visible. For example, the Portuguese investment group owner of “Floresta Atlântica”, which reported profits of around 2.000.000 Euros by the end of 2015. “Floresta Atlântica” promotes integrated land management, i.e. the use of appropriate agricultural practices according to the environmental and agricultural aptitude of each farming unit. Best agricultural practices include, for example, selecting the most adapted high yield varieties, optimising fertilisation and irrigation plans, implementing appropriate disease and pest control measures, mitigating of the risk of fire, undertaking soil restoration, protecting native species and habitats, etc. In this part of the world, particular attention is yielded to mitigating the risk of fire. For example, in the “Floresta Atlântica” Pinus sylvestris’ plantations, the community has been directly involved in “resin collecting” with each collector acquiring important responsibility as a forest warden. This way, the community directly guards the forest by reporting risk factors (diseased trees, unmanaged undergrowth, etc.) and actively participates in post-fire management operations. “Controlled fire” is another example of risk mitigation as it eliminates easily inflammable undergrowth vegetation. Here, particular attention is given to terrain orientation and decline while avoiding damage to the mineralisation layer of the soil, (maintaining a healthy microbial community and reducing damage to the upper roots of the forest trees). In their biodiversity conservation strategy, the temporary or permanent water lines inside the farm units are managed towards the maintenance or reintroduction of native tree species as well as the creation of habitats for native flora and fauna. In addition to the environmental benefits, integrated land management towards the optimised production of an array of forest and agricultural products has had a significant impact in the economic viability of the “Floresta Atlântica“ farm units. For example, in northern Portugal, farming units directed to chestnut production can also provide profits of around 10.000 Euros per hectare in mushrooms, in addition to the estimated 5000 euros per hectare in chestnuts). The investment group who owns “Floresta Atlântica” has obtained the international certificate from the “Forest Stewardship Council” as it has proved to be economically viable, environmentally friendly, and able to provide direct economic and social benefits to the community. In a world where climate change tends to aggravate, integrated land management actively seeks the conservation of environmental resources while pursuing economic viability. This marriage catalyses new business opportunities which arise from the availability of well-managed natural resources and ecosystem services. Investment examples like “Floresta Atlântica” show that countries like Portugal and Spain can still kick the Sahara away from Europe and reverse the current trends towards environmental and social desertification.