On 11th May 2021, Euromontana participated to the online forum of the Mixed Technological Unit for “Resources and transformations of Mediterranean pastoral livestock” (UMT Pasto) – a cooperation structure that gathers since 2014 research organisations, higher education institutions and technical institutes in France.
The event aimed to exchange knowledge on the management of pastoral areas, the evolution of the profession and the territorial organisation of pastoralism to better understand the current challenges but also to identify practices that can support and valorise pastoralism. On this occasion, Maria Carla Lostrangio, Project Manager at Euromontana, presented some examples from the booklet of good practices recently published by the LIFE OREKA MENDIAN project.
Published in April 2021, the booklet includes 31 good practices from across Europe that aim at achieving the sustainable management of permanent grasslands and continuity of pastoral practices. Examples presented by Maria Carla Lostrangio during the UMT Pasto event included
- The EconoMountain initiative (Portugal), which helps to better manage land by grazing goats on less accessible plots, resulting in the reduction of land abandonment but also in benefits for forest fire prevention.
- The promotion of mountain products under the label “Produs montan” (Romania), which is one of the most successful applications in Europe of the Optional Quality Term for mountain products and which allows both certification and promotion of products from these regions.
- FindMy (Norway), which developed a herd tracking system using satellite technology to overcome the difficulties of GPS tracking due to the lack of connectivity and thus assisting farmers in monitoring livestock over very large pastoral areas.
Despite the challenges that pastoralism faces, the good practices presented during the event showed that existing initiatives can support shepherds and pastoralists, improve biodiversity, enhance innovation and maintain the sustainability of pastoral practices.
During the discussions with participants, Euromontana also insisted on the need to widely recognise the public goods and ecosystem services that are provided by pastoralism, such as landscape management, carbon storage or the preservation of mountain biodiversity, for example through the eco-schemes of the new CAP.
For more information
You can consult Maria Carla Lostrangio’s presentation; find the event’s presentations and recording on the event website. The OREKA MENDIAN booklet of good practices is available in French and English.
Pastoralism is an essential activity in mountain areas, helping to preserve traditional skills, maintain open landscapes and protect species; this is why Euromontana also supports the motion presented to the United Nations to declare 2026 as the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists, which is currently awaiting endorsement. This initiative will be presented on 14th June 2021 during the online conference “Pastoralism: a crucial way to tackle sustainability challenges in EU and beyond” organised by the European Committee of the Regions, with the support of Yolda Initiative, Euromontana and the IYRP Regional Support Group for Europe (more information soon on the Euromontana website).21 May 2021