ID50: Past, Recent and Future Changes in Mountain Transhumance
A new research aims to identify the main changes in mountain transhumance over the past decades as perceived by the breeders and stakeholders. This research is currently based on twelve contrasted case studies located in diverse mountain areas and climatic-ecological zones. Several topics of changes are identified, especially in terms of governance, presence of other users, herd and pasture management practices and technologies, transportation. Climate change is an ever-increasing reality that will strongly affect transhumance and the entire livestock sector. Differences and similarities between the case studies suggest that appropriated policies based on collective approaches can enable breeders to be more involved in mountains' sustainable development. We invite the different case studies to present in 10-12 pages or 20-25000 characters their respective papers, focusing on the diversity of occurred changes, trying to prioritize them. We are also very interested in other case studies. We suggest that they also present their respective papers in 10-12 pages or 20-25000 characters.
Abstract ID 476 | Date: 2022-09-13 10:00 – 10:10 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Aula |
Ruiz Peyré, Fernando (1,3); Martín, Facundo (2); Dorn, Felix (3)
1: Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research, IGF/ÖAW, Austria
2: CONICET/UNCuyo, Argentina
3: University of Innsbruck, Austria
Keywords: Transhumance, Mountain Livestock System, Global Change, Argentina, Andes
Traditional animal production in the Argentinian Andes is characterised by transhumance (mainly goats). This type of farming is deeply embedded in the local culture, and influences the spatial occupation, the settlement structure and the use of natural resources. The seasonal movement of farmers and herds strongly links the lowlands and lower valleys with the highlands and high valleys, that are inaccessible during winter. In so doing, the so called "puesteros" (transhumant farmers) develop a special relationship with space and time, which is very different from that of other rural or urban areas.
Transhumance as a traditional livestock system is currently facing new challenges, including land use changes, rural youth exodus or the competition with other economic activities. Besides that, climate change and globalization represent new uncertainties for the future.
In this paper, we will reflect about current and future challenges for transhumance (both as a farming system and as a cultural practice) in western Argentina (south of Mendoza and north of Neuquén) with emphasis on local social actors, disputes with other economic activities as well as forms of governance for sustainable mountain development.
Abstract ID 227 | Date: 2022-09-13 10:10 – 10:20 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Aula |
Edition Hubatschek, Austria
Keywords: Corsica, Pastoralism, Transhumance, Alpages, Cheese-Fabrication
Corsica, in size comparable to Carinthia in Austria, has always been an agro-sylvo-pastoral society. The high summer temperatures have made transhumance a vital necessity in the Mediterranean, where the risk of malaria persisted until the 1960s.
An outstanding characteristic of Corsican transhumance is its "doubleness": the summer transhumance leads up to the mountains with an intermediate stay in a "root village" during spring and fall. For the winter, the animals are moved back down into the coastal lowlands, where they hardly need any shelter thanks to the moderate climate. Most shepherds only used to need a day or two, although the scarcity of pastures meant that some had to walk for a whole week.
In the second part we see the transformations of the transhumance since the 1980s on, where the number of shepherds dwindled due to harsh living and working conditions, where motorized transhumance on forest roads took over, or the flock could even be on its own in the mountains for approx. four months. This ended the tradition of milking and cheese-making in the mountains.
My presentation also includes a chapter about recent developments: what is the price of continuing transhumance in Corsica today? There are different degrees of cooperation with tourism – from the sale of dairy products to the total immersion experience; some alpages/bergeries still function today thanks to the income from tourism.
My introduction to this topic was through spontaneous immersion: I have long been familiar with the Corsican mountains and was invited in the late 1980s by an old shepherd (J. Luciani, *1927) to spend a month each summer with him and his family up in the mountains. My inclusion in this very traditional rural community allowed me to gain first-hand experience. Later, I conducted interviews with a number of different shepherds, old and young. I lived in Corsica for 25 years and during this time I participated in several transhumances throughout the island, wrote a book about Corsican shepherds, and co-produced a documentary film about the transhumance (excerpts could be shown).
Little research has been done into the transhumance in Corsica, apart from a substantial thesis published in 1985 (G. Ravis-Giordani). This contribution now retraces the history of a major Corsican "way of life" in ancient and recent times.
Abstract ID 831 | Date: 2022-09-13 10:20 – 10:30 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Aula |
Santos, Luís (1); Tourrand, Jean Francois (3); Ruiz Peyre, Fernando (2); Anastacio, Rita (1)
1: IPT Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, Portugal
2: OAW Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research
3: Cirad-Green & MAAF
Keywords: Transhumance, Ecosystem Services, Mountains
Since Neolithic times highland areas long distance heard transhumance played a major role in the seasonal movement of livestock, predominantly sheep and goats, and less common cows and horses, to high elevations during summer and low elevations during winter (Festi, 2012; García-Ruiz et al., 2020; Makarewicz, 2017; Sutliff, 2015). The knowledge of natural climatic cycles and landscape resource composition allowed communities to explore the diversity that altitudinal catena offers under seasonal variation regimes (Aguilera et al., 2020; Vigan et al., 2017)
The last long-distance active transhumance record in the Portuguese territory is from 1999 on Serra de Montemuro. The reasons behind transhumance disappearance are deeply connected with the Portuguese socio-political reality. To a great extent, the territorial reorganization after the 25th of April 1974 revolution brought opportunities for people to seek better living conditions in the large metropolitan areas and outside the country. Transhumance was a way of life, a narrow relationship established for millennia between man and animals, balancing territories in a sweet rhythmicised manner.
Presently transhumance is perceived as a historical activity, part of the Portuguese cultural heritage, an asset for tourism and local economic development. This use of such a rich activity diminishes the potential for implementing sustainable development in several fields. Intensive animal farming is far more detrimental to the environment than free-range herds and if these are mobile the impact is even less detrimental. The quality of the products is far better and can be further valued, even certified, reassuring the marketing trends of environmental protection. Soils are less impacted where compaction is less severe, riparian forests are less impacted, fire hazards are reduced, ecosystem services are maintained, overall a better way of achieving sustainability.
This research presents solutions, based on territorial planning and ecosystem availability to propose social, economic and environmental models to bring back this practice, thus presenting the advantages it can bring to the environment and people alike.
Abstract ID 774 | Date: 2022-09-13 10:30 – 10:40 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Aula |
Instituto de Montaña, Peru
Keywords: Pastoral Systems, Agropastoral Systems, Andes
In the Peruvian Andes, there are two different transhumance systems: agropastoral and pastoral systems. Agro-pastoral systems are developed in the humid puna, where grazing cattle and sheep in the highlands are combined with cropping systems potato-oriented in the lowlands. Here, Andean landscape is managed holistically and integrated (upper, middle and lower zones), given the geographic proximity between grazing lands in the highlands and croplands in the lowlands. They maintain short daily and seasonal movements, due to physiological limitations and behavioral patterns of livestock. Towards the southern Peruvian Andes, corresponding to the Peruvian altiplano, specialized pastoral systems are developed in the arid and semi-arid puna, raising exclusively alpacas and llamas, which are barely combined with sheep and cattle as a diversification strategy. These pastoral systems involve seasonal vertical movements on several stations and daily horizontal movements over long distances. Landscape management focuses exclusively on the upper lands since cropland is inexistant. During the last decades the most notorious changes in both systems have been at management level. The use of alternative management strategies like grazing by "turns" and by hired shepherds has increased in response to labor shortages due to migration caused by limited development options in the highlands and the low profitability of these systems. These strategies interrupt the transmission and application of ancestral knowledge and traditional conservation practices that ensure the sustainable management. The primary productivity of grasslands and bofedales (strategic wet grasses in dry season) have decreased and shrunk dramatically due to altered precipitation and temperature patterns caused by climate change. Livestock calendars organized according to seasonal rangeland production and seasonal labor availability, have not been adapted to these changes, leading to inappropriate management of overall system. What could be the future of these systems under labor shortage and climate change? The population in charge of the pastoral systems is mainly women and the elderly. Generational turnover is being lost because young people do not plan to continue pastoralism. There is an increase trend of management by "turns" and by hired shepherds, and to become dominant, leaving in charge only those people who are not connected to nature and their biocultural heritage. The rangeland law is a pending issue, since rangelands continue to be treated as croplands, which means that can be parceled out, exposing them to lose the management with landscape approach. Peruvian Andean pastoral and agropastoral systems require urgent attention and actions from all sectors.
Abstract ID 424 | Date: 2022-09-13 10:40 – 10:50 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Aula |
Amanatidis, Michail (1); Karatzia, Maria-Anastasia (2); Basdagianni, Zoitsa (3); Mitliagka, Paraskevi (1); Kasapidou, Eleni (1)
1: University of Western Macedonia, Greece
2: ELGO-Dimitra, Greece
3: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Keywords: Mountain, Transhumance, Goat
Goat breeding is one of the most important sectors of animal production in Greece and the Region of Western Macedonia in particular, as it is instrumental in the development of its mountainous and disadvantaged areas. The contribution of goat farming to the protection of the local natural environment is equally essential, through the conservation of natural pastures, which are not suitable for the breeding of other productive animals or for the cultivation of plant species, under the pressing effects of climate change.
Traditionally, dairy goat farming is based on summer transhumance, where the animals utilize the pasture by converting it into products of high nutritional value in a sustainable way. Transhumance is practiced as a form of pastoralism that first appeared in Greece in the 15th century as a seasonal activity (from early May until late October) along steady, predefined routes.
Approximately 154 thousand indigenous, undeveloped goats are managed in farms located in Western Macedonia, a predominantly mountainous area with over 47000 hectares of natural pastureland, with a significant number of them practicing medium distance transhumance (50-100 km distance from their wintertime location), utilizing pastures of unique biodiversity and producing grass fed traditional cheese and yoghurt of high quality. Although dairy products from summer pastures are well sought after by consumers, transhumant goat farmers face an array of challenges, including the degradation of pastures, shortage of water, limited product distribution network and increased expenses.
At the same time, Western Macedonia region, once the most carbon-intensive area of the country, has entered a delignification process. Supported by the Just Transition Mechanism as a guiding principle of economic transformation, lignite phase-out plan includes the creation of livestock zones in the region, as well as actions on the restoration of degraded land. All the above, create a future changing landscape, through which both opportunities and challenges for goat transhumance, arise.
We acknowledge support of this work by the project "AGROTOUR" (MIS 5047196) which is implemented under the Action "Reinforcement of the Research and Innovation Infrastructure", funded by the Operational Programme "Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation" (NSRF 2014-2020) and co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Regional Development Fund).
Abstract ID 877 | Date: 2022-09-13 10:50 – 11:00 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Aula |
Dorji, Tashi; Pant, Basant; Aryal, Kamal; Chettri, Nakul; Ismail, Muhammad; Ali, Ghulam
International Centre for Integrated Mountatin Development (ICIMOD), Nepal
Keywords: Yak Herders Network, Hindu Kush Himalaya, Rangelands
Yak is an integral part of the highland ecosystems. They use rangelands that comprise 60% of land use in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. Yak is the main source of livelihoods for the herders, who are marginalized from mainstream development. Yaks are also part of culture, tradition, and social life of the high mountain communities. The traditional transhumance systems facilitated access to good germplasm and markets that are critical for adapting to change. However, recent geopolitical development restricts transboundary migration, and limits access to resources. In this context, cross-learning, cooperation, and networks are solutions to address these challenges. Learning from the Association of World Reindeer Herders (AWRH), the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is facilitating a mobilization of the HKH network for yak herders in Bhutan, Nepal, India and Pakistan that will converge into the HKH Yak Herders Network. The network shall provide platform i) to highlight historic, cultural, social and economic importance of yak, ii) to exchange knowledge and experience on yak value chains and relevant technologies and iii) to represent the voices of yak herding communities at the national and international forums. The paper describes the process and progress towards the HKH Yak herders' Network.
Abstract ID 204 | Date: 2022-09-13 11:00 – 11:10 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Aula |
Mayer, Andreas (1); Egger, Claudine (1); Loyau, Adeline (2,3); Plutzar, Christoph (4); Schmeller, Dirk S. (3); Gaube, Veronika (1)
1: Institute of Social Ecology (SEC), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (Boku), Austria
2: Department of Experimental Limnology, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)
3: Laboratoire écologie fonctionnelle et environnement, Université de Toulouse
4: Umweltbundesamt Austria
Keywords: Mountain Pastures, Livestock Grazing, Adaptation, Extreme Events
Mountain ecosystems are highly specialized and adapted to harsh climatic and environmental conditions. Due to their characteristics, they are highly sensitive to change, be it from climate, from changing species composition, or from ruminant livestock grazing during parts of the year on mountain pastures. Mountain pastures in European cultural landscapes are very important for cultural heritage in mountain regions, and used to provide forage for ruminant livestock in traditional farming systems during summer. They are an additional and cost-efficient forage source for grazing livestock and can provide a buffer when feed in the lowlands becomes scarce due to over-grazing and subsequent land degradation, or climate-related extreme events such as droughts. Their utilization is driven by the decision-making of farmers and their management practices on their agricultural land and constrained by future grass productivity. To predict future land use and concomitant ecological impacts, it is crucial to understand the complex interplay between the decisions of farmers as well as the socio-economic and climatic environment. To understand this complex interplay, we use the agent-based model SECLAND to analyze the future systemic feedback between climate change, land owner's decisions on land use, and land use change on agricultural land and mountain pastures in the department of Ariège, France. We developed three land use scenarios for a sustainability-driven, a business-as-usual, and a scenario driven by fossil-fueled economic growth. In all scenarios, 32% – 46% of farms cease to exist, while active farms intensify their land use. On mountain pastures, results show increasing stocking densities up to the maximum carrying capacity of 0.3 livestock units per hectare, especially under the scenario with strong climate change effects and increased extreme events. In such a scenario, farmers increasingly use mountain pastures to seek for additional forage resources in specific years, while these grazing areas need considerate management in years where they are not required for food provision. Utilization patterns of mountain pastures are strongly shaped by farm succession, vegetation regrowth on unused mountain pastures, and the search for cost-efficient forage resources. Such high stocking densities on mountain pastures increase the pressure on the ecosystem through manure droppings and the introduction of alien microbes. Agent-based models such as that used in this study enable researchers to untangle the described complex interactions between grazing livestock, and the utilization of lowland and mountain pastures in European mountain agroecosystems.
Abstract ID 804 | Date: 2022-09-13 11:10 – 11:20 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Aula |
Samuels, Mogamat Igshaan (1,2)
1: Agricultural Research Council
2: University of the Western Cape
Keywords: Herd Mobility, Climate Change, Local Governance, South Africa
The Kamiesberg Mountains in South Africa represents a complex social-ecological system where mobile pastoralists sustain their livelihoods. The region is part of the most plant diverse deserts in the world and thus have great conservation value. Furthermore, the area is also home to indigenous Nama pastoralists who have been farming with cattle and now more predominantly, goats and sheep for more than two centuries. The pastoral system has undergone several evolutions in its (pre)colonial and democratic eras. In addition to these political drives of change, there has been a decline in social values and erosion of the Nama culture. Climate change and its associated hazards, have also impacted on Nama livelihoods but pastoral practices have somehow managed to adapt to these drivers of change. The outcome was a constrained mobile pastoral system where short-range herd movements would still allow livestock access to spatial and temporal variable forage and water resources whilst at the same time addressing the socio-economic needs of the livestock owners.
However, with a continual increase in recorded mean annual minimum temperatures and climate hazards particularly droughts in the region, the basic foundations of the adapted pastoral system are under threat. These include dryland crop production of winter cereals that are used for supplementary feed during the dry summer months. When croplands are cultivated, it facilitates the movements of livestock herds away from growing crops. Then again, with an increase in rainfall variability and uncertainty, agro-pastoralists have abandoned cropping due to an increased risk of crop failure.
Furthermore, the movement of herds to lower elevations to escape (near)freezing point conditions have also decreased in frequency and duration. The increase in minimum temperatures lead to pastoralists now perceiving that their livestock can tolerate the cold winter temperatures in the uplands. This resulted in the gradual reduction in the historically necessitated vertical transhumant movements.
When livestock mobility is curtailed, we should expect overgrazing in certain habitats which would have negative impacts on the vegetation and initiate degradation. With no formal management plan, the pastoral system relied on shared cultural norms and local knowledge. Now that the land will be formally owned by the municipality and not pastoralists, there is a need for local government to sustainably manage the land and reduce the impacts of climate change. This presentation will outline a proposed local governance framework to restore pastoral mobility and the role of stakeholders to implement a sustainable pastoral system.
Abstract ID 214 | Date: 2022-09-13 11:20 – 11:30 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Aula |
Akbaş, Ferdi (1); Baykal, Füsun (2)
1: Osmaniye Korkut Ata University, Turkey
2: Ege University, Turkey
Keywords: Transhumance, Transformation, Transition, Women, Turkey
Transhumance activity, carried on for hundreds of years in Turkey, has entered into a great transformation nowadays. Northeast Anatolia, the center of pasture livestock, is the region where these transformations are experienced the most. The aim of this study is to determine the factors behind the decreasing trend in transhumance and to investigate the changing role of women in this process. The study has two dimensions as the declining animal husbandry reduces the transhumance activity and the declining transhumance activity negatively affects the rural economy. Transhumance in Ardahan, determined as a study area, has many problems such as land conflict and the inability to market cattle and goose products and these problems that trigger each other in the field of livestock, transhumance and rural economy result in migration to big cities. When questioning the place of women among these problems, it is seen that they take the leading role with their knowledge, experience and work. The strong contribution of women to transhumance has taken a different dimension in recent years, and while men are engaged in agricultural activities in villages, women have started to take the herds to the highland alone for 2-3 months. This transition process in transhumance will be questioned through in-depth interviews with thirty women. In this context, the scale of "The role of women in transhumance activities in Northeast Anatolia" will be developed and a qualitative method will be adopted. Participants will be determined by stratified sampling and semi-structured interviews will be used. Participants will be determined by stratified sampling and semi-structured interviews will be used. In this way, it is aimed to determine the perspective of women on transhumance problems, when and why their role started to change, and what the positive or negative consequences of this might be. In this context, seven open-ended questions have been prepared and interviews will be conducted face to face. In addition, geographical observations to be made on transhumance will constitute another method of the research. The data will be evaluated by content analysis, and the findings will be presented with tables and figures. It is expected that the study will contribute to regional transhumance, local community and cultural geography.
Abstract ID 236 | Date: 2022-09-13 11:30 – 11:40 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Aula |
Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Hellenic Agricultural Organization ELGO – DIMITRA, Greece
Keywords: Economic Sustainability, Valorization Of Transhumance, Mathematical Programming
Transhumance is a typical activity for Greece that is actually balancing between innovation and tradition. The main product of farms is milk, which is sometimes transformed to cheese on-farm or, more often, sold to dairy industries; these choices formulate short value chains as well as nationwide ones – all of which contribute to an extent to the promotion of the system. Especially the valorization of summer milk – which is produced while small ruminants graze in natural rangelands with high biodiversity – constitutes an important opportunity for transhumance. This paper presents an assessment of the economic implications of producing a cheese from this summer milk which will be certified for its transhumance origin. The analysis is based on interview data from transhumant farmers in the Northern Pindos, Greece, which is one of the main "transhumance hotspots" in Greece.
According to the results of a descriptive technical and economic analysis, the economic performance of farms is heavily dependent on the prices of milk as well as on subsidies, while transhumant farms exhibit significant cost savings mainly due to the use of natural rangelands. The two main problems that producers face is that milk prices are relatively low and also that input costs demonstrate a very impressive increase, especially the last two years. In fact, milk prices are increasing but they do not seem to cover for losses due to input increases. Based on the technical and economic indicators, a farm-level mathematical programming model is used to examine the effects of premium pricing of summer milk on the structure and economic performance of farms. The results show that premium pricing can indeed have positive effects on economic performance but the achievement for actual benefits for farms is also dependent on other factors, such as the availability of labor and access to rangelands. Therefore, there are no unambiguous solutions to boost the viability of transhumance but this can be the combined effects of measures and policies, including the establishment of advisory support services that can provide orientation to farmers. In all, effective governance and cooperation among farmers and networking with other stakeholders can enable the design of integrated strategies to ensure the development and viability of transhumance. Acknowledgment: This research has been co‐financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE (project code:T1EDK-04475)
Abstract ID 238 | Date: 2022-09-13 11:40 – 11:50 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Aula |
Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Hellenic Agricultural Organization ELGO – DIMITRA, Greece
Keywords: Traditional Ecological Knowledge, European Union Policies, Governance
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the existing situation in the sheep and goat transhumance sector of Northern Pindos (one of the main "transhumance hotspots" in Greece) and to pinpoint its prospects. The methodological approach is based on a combination of previous research with in-depth interviews with seven transhumant farmers who move from Thessaly to the study area on spring.
Sheep and goat transhumance in Northern Pindos is estimated to involve around 150.000 small ruminants and more than 300 farms. Farmers move along with their flocks and in many occasions they hire salaried shepherds. The distance of movements varies from a few kilometers to over 200 and the majority is done by trucks. Farm operation is characterized by significant particularities in the management of resources – combining traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) with modern knowledge and technological innovation. Traditional elements can be found in the organization of labor (with task allocation based on gender and age) – but not as strict as in older times – and in land use and rangeland allocation – despite the particular bureaucratic system. Farmers have adopted a modern way of life, however they still appreciate local festivals and traditions. Acknowledging such particularities along with the historic roots of the system, transhumance was recently inscribed as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
The main product is milk, which is sometimes transformed to cheese on-farm or, more often, sold to dairy industries. While low productivity and changes in market prices threaten the economic sustainability of farms, European Union subsidies and significant cost savings due to the use of natural rangelands and family labor as well as to low fixed capital endowments counterbalance potential uncertainties.
Transhumance in Greece has considerable potential for development. The new policy framework – which involves mainly the Common Agricultural Policy but also other policies such as the European Green Deal – constitutes a significant opportunity if specific adjustments are made. In addition, the development potential of transhumance is closely linked to regulating land uses and rangeland allocation, on the basis of a modern system. Other key issues that could formulate an enabling environment for transhumance are cooperation – either in the form of Cooperatives or networking with other stakeholders and countries – as well as training and advisory support.
Acknowledgment: This research is part of project "PASTINNOVA – Innovative models for sustainable future of Mediterranean pastoral systems" funded by PRIMA Programme supported by the European Union under Grant Agreement Nr. 2113.