ID74: Transdisciplinary approaches for the future of mountain transhumance, forestry, and livelihoods
Agricultural and forest-based production systems in mountain areas contribute considerably to sustainable regional development. Due to the challenges of structural change such as changing policies, markets and livelihoods, traditional socio-cultural and socio-economic systems are subject to adaptation processes. In this focus session we want to
- exchange knowledge and experiences on practical examples of adaptation strategies in mountain farming and forest management; with a transdisciplinary approach, we expect to include local people as well as experts from different disciplines to discuss topics like e.g. strategies for securing livelihoods, governance, forms of cooperation between authorities, influence of subsidies, participation of civil society and interest groups, and practical issues of working in transdisciplinary settings;
- discuss the future of mountain agriculture in consideration of the various ecologic, economic and social challenges which lie ahead. We seek for examples dealing with approaches from alpine or other mountain regions, offering ways to solve or mitigate emerging challenges, that could be transferred to the central European system. We will discuss how mountain transhumance will look like in 20 years, what are the most urgent challenges and how can they be faced.
Abstract ID 349 | Date: 2022-09-12 16:00 – 16:09 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: THEOLOGIE – Madonnensaal |
Mink, Steffen; Galley, Stefan
Keywords: Wolf, Herd Protection, Cooperational Agriculture, Switzerland, Trans-Disciplinary Research
The long tradition of mountain farms in Switzerland is under threat. Decreasing food prices, climate change, urbanisation and the ever-increasing gap between producers and consumers put farmers everywhere under immense economic and social pressure. In addition, mountain farms have to cope with another problem: the wolf. In the last twenty years, population numbers have drastically increased in the comparable densely populated alpine regions of Switzerland. The predators pose not only a direct threat to sheep and goats, but are a disruptive societal topic in the whole country. Farmers therefore have to deal not only with the existential problem of livestock kills, but also navigate the political controversies concerning the wolf.
There are numerous ways with varying effectiveness to prevent predatory attacks on livestock. Two of the most efficient herd protection methods are livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) and electrified fences. Although their qualities are scientifically proven, the implementation is highly time and cost intensive. Even with public support and compensations, the main bulk of work and the ongoing costs have to be carried by the farmers themselves. This leads to an increase in workload or labour cost. For some farmers, these expenses are no longer bearable and the continuation of livestock farming is at stake.
In contrast to the negative views on the predator in rural areas stands the urban population of Switzerland. Strictly voting against eased hunting regulations in September of 2020, most city-dwellers seem to have a romanticized view on the wolf and reinforce the ongoing urban-rural divide. However, there are wolf supporters who are aware of the critical situation of alpine farmers. For them, the coexistence of predators and agriculture is particularly important, which is why they are keen to support them.
In our study, we explore different strategies that employ the combination of herd protection with communitarian work. Our two main examples are cooperational approaches between farmers and volunteers, and community supported agriculture schemes. To show their effectiveness we deploy a trans-disciplinary research approach using methods form biology, sociology and economics. We give an insight in the capability of these approaches to not only protect livestock form wolf kills, but also to foster a stronger relationship between urban and rural populations. The expected social effects will lead to a higher evaluation of alpine farming and should help to maintain this specialised type of agriculture for future generations, despite predatory and economic pressure.
Abstract ID 169 | Date: 2022-09-12 16:09 – 16:18 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: THEOLOGIE – Madonnensaal |
Stauder, Julia (1,2)
1: Eurac Research, Institute for Regional Development
2: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Department of Integrative Biology and Biodiversity Research
Keywords: Mountain Livestock Farming, Future Perspectives, Adaptation Process, Socio-Economic Changes
Summer pastures, also called alpine farming areas, are examples of semi-natural habitats created through an interaction between environmental factors like climate and topography, and human activities. The Italian province of South Tyrol is strongly characterized by its approximately 1600 summer pastures, which cover a third of the entire territory. On the one hand, these pastures guarantee the provision of forage to livestock and create work relief in the valley during the summer; on the other hand, their traditional agricultural use provides an important contribution to site-specific biodiversity and maintains the open spaces in the landscape, with high recreational, touristic and cultural value. For example, more than half of the annual tourist visit South Tyrol during the summer period and state hiking activities and the attractiveness of the traditional landscape as the main reasons for spending a holiday in this province.
Despite its importance, local summer pasture grazing is confronted with multiple ecological and socio-economic challenges. The low monetary rentability for livestock farmers and the decline of stocking numbers reflect, among other things, the general transformation processes in agriculture during the last decades which had an impact on pasture activities. Today, many summer pastures in South Tyrol are managed from the valley, and the majority of livestock graze freely and unattended. Consequently, maintenance measures are often neglected, and these areas suffer from afforestation in medium term which consequently causes biodiversity losses. A lack of staff also leads to an uneven grazing pressure causing under- and over-use of the area. Especially since the return of wolves, these and more problems but also adaptation possibilities for alpine farming areas are strongly discussed in public. Currently only few initiatives deal with and try to mitigate the challenges summer pastures are facing and aim to open new perspectives for this form of seasonal livestock husbandry.
This study describes the development of summer pasture grazing in South Tyrol and analyses the most important factors affecting its development during the last six decades. Based on a literature review, secondary data analysis and expert interviews, the most urgent challenges are defined which led to the current situation and should be tackled in future. Additionally, the study attempts to indicate the direction of changes needed to preserve summer pasture grazing for the future and ideally presents concrete proposals for decision-makers.
Abstract ID 778 | Date: 2022-09-12 16:18 – 16:27 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: THEOLOGIE – Madonnensaal |
Bellato, Alessandro (1); Whitaker, Sarah (2); Bergagna, Stefania (3); Nebbia, Patrizia (1); Robino, Patrizia (1); Mannelli, Alessandro (1)
1: Department of Veterinary Science, University of Turin, Italy
2: Department of Anthropology, Emory University, GA, USA
3: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, Italy
Keywords: Dairy Cows, Subclinical Mastitis
Mastitis is the primary concern of dairy herds, due to therapy cost, milk losses, and increased culling probability. It affects not only the health but also the welfare of dairy cows. Subclinical mastitis is defined by somatic cells increase and positive bacteriological tests. Major pathogens are conventionally divided into environmental and contagious depending on their transmission route.
This study aimed to investigate the risk factors for mastitis in dairy herds in mountain areas.
We sampled 246 dairy cows from 16 herds (mean size=41.1±29.1), which were situated between 270 and 800m a.s.l. in three different geographic areas of northern Apennines (Italy). These areas are characterized by unique livestock industries. In the province of Lucca (LU), most are small farms that process milk on the farm and sell it locally. In Alessandria (AL) small and medium-sized farms supply milk for PDO production or directly to the consumer. In Reggio Emilia province (RE), the production of Parmigiano Reggiano is managed by social dairies owned by the breeders.
Between April and September 2021, we collected milk from clinically healthy cows. Milk samples were subjected to bacteriological investigation. Pathogen identification was confirmed with MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. During sampling, the breeder was interviewed to gather information about breeder's training, husbandry and biosecurity procedures.
We isolated contagious agents from 40 cows of 9 herds. The prevalence was the highest in AL (31.7%), and the lowest in RE (3.28%). Using milking cart was a risk factor while introducing new animals was a protective factor. Also, breeder's training was a protective factor, but it was no longer significant when managerial factors are considered. Mass spectra analysis confirmed that bacteria very similar to each other circulate within the herd.
Environmental bacteria were isolated in 24 cows of 9 herds. The prevalence was the lowest in AL (2.4%), and the highest in RE (13.9%). Grazing and tie-stall were risk factors for the presence of environmental bacteria.
The main source of contagious agents was the herd itself, where infected cows spread bacteria through milking equipment. Therefore, replacing older cows could reduce the prevalence of subclinical mastitis. The bedding is a source of environmental pathogens, whence free housing is preferable. During grazing, it is advisable to provide cows with ample space to prevent udder contamination.
The best predictor for contagious agents was the geographic area, which possibly means that the socio-economic structure supporting dairy production is crucial for the implementation of control measures.
Abstract ID 277 | Date: 2022-09-12 16:27 – 16:36 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: THEOLOGIE – Madonnensaal |
Uniyal, Vp; Chauhan, Mona
Wildlife Institute of India, India
Keywords: Conservation, Ecosystem Services, Trans Himalaya, Pollinators
Trans Himalayan ecosystems provide a variety of benefits to people, including provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services. These services are interconnected and interlinked to each other which consists of conservation of biodiversity, the use of natural resources and environmental protection but the deterioration of ecosystem services due to anthropogenic activities is becoming a big issue in the region. In this context, the carrying capacity of forests vis-à-vis agricultural intensification/ diversification needs to be understood. While considering intricate linkages of forests with agriculture and horticulture in the region, among others, the role of forests in providing pollination services needs to be considered on priority. This need is evident, as over 90% of flowering plants are pollinated by animals and the majority of crop plants are pollinated by insects; bee-pollinated crops alone contribute about 30% of human food, and reduction in the population of native pollinators, due to habitat loss of insects will result into insufficient pollination and crop productivity. The trans-Himalayan region was targeted for the intensive study of pollinators and the conservation practices of these little creatures with the help of stakeholder workshops adopting the city science approach in different areas of Ladakh. A simple questionnaire was prepared to know the awareness about the ecosystem services and type of farming system they are approaching. A total of 52 species of pollinators were recorded from the Ladakh region which consists of 34 species of Hymenoptera, 9 species of Lepidoptera and 9 species of Diptera. Among the pollinators, Bombus lucorum and Bombus tunicatus were most abundant than any other pollinators and help in the pollination of the maximum crops of the area. Pollinators and host plant interaction was also documented during the study. The community prefer organic practices which could be the reason for the diversification of pollinators. Hence, it is provided that necessary management practices should be adopted to enhance and protect the mountain agrobiodiversity, forest ecosystem and ecosystem services. A new concept of value addition to ecosystem services and payment for ecosystem services should be encouraged for their sustainable use.
Abstract ID 650 | Date: 2022-09-12 16:36 – 16:45 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: THEOLOGIE – Madonnensaal |
JNU,DELHI, INDIA, India
Keywords: Agriculture, Pastoralism, Climate Change, Indigenous Knowledge, Socio-Economic Transformation, Adaptive Strategy
the high mountainous cold arid region of Ladakh, located in Indian Trans-Himalaya. This remote region has been noticeably inaccessible and has seen a rapid transformation in the traditional subsistence-based economy in recent years with a trend towards livestock diversification. Based on semi-structured interviews and focused group discussions with agro-pastoral communities of the Nubra region and Nomadic pastoralist communities of the Changthang region in Ladakh, this paper discusses the nature and trends of socio-economic diversification and factors responsible for this shift. In addition to survey responses, archival data were used to provide additional historical context. This research also explores the nexus of climate change and socio-economic change, focusing on the significance of traditional agro-pastoral ecological knowledge in influencing resilience and adaptation strategies to the challenges posed by climate and socio-economic changes.
Traditional Buddhist institutions that are based on indigenous knowledge evolved in consonance with limited production possibilities. They were characterised by socio-cultural practices such as polyandry, inheritance through primogeniture and monastic way of life to ensure that balance remains between population and carrying capacity of the land and optimum utilisation of scarce resources. High mountain livelihoods have been changing due to a number of internal and external factors, including deployment of vast military set up in the region, opening up of the region for tourism, expansion of government and bureaucratic employment in the region, improved accessibility, connectivity, etc. food subsidies. Climate and socio-economic changes have brought both opportunities and challenges to agriculture and pastoralism. Local institutions play a vital role in managing resource utilisation, conservation, pasture management, local governance, conflict resolution, and improving adaptive capacity by providing ecological and socio-economic security.
Abstract ID 945 | Date: 2022-09-12 16:45 – 16:54 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: THEOLOGIE – Madonnensaal |
Kinge, Tonjock Rosemary
The University of Bamenda, Cameroon
Keywords: Mushroom Cultivation, Medicinal Properties, Growth And Yield, Nutritional Content, Pleurotus Ostreatus, Sustainable Livelihood, Mountainous Communities
Mountainous communities around Mount Cameroon and Kilum Ijim mountain found in the South and Northwest Regions respectively are diverse with mushroom species which have socio-economic functions as food and medicine and play essential roles in ecosystem functioning such as in decomposition and forming mycorrhizae association. Inhabitants of this region depend on the forest for their livelihood. However, diversity of edible and medicinal mushrooms is decreasing at an alarming rate around these communities because of threats such as habitat degradation due to landslides and volcanic eruptions, climate change, over harvesting, deforestation for farmlands by the locals and oil palm cultivation by multinational companies, settlement expansion due to urbanization and fire outbreaks. This study was carried out for 5 years to train communities comprising mostly of women and youths in mushroom cultivation to conserve mushroom biodiversity, provide sustainable livelihoods to the communities and use the spent substrates as biofertilizer in their farms. Oyster mushroom (P. ostreatus) was cultivated with different locally available waste as substrates. The growth, yield, nutritional and medicinal value of P. ostreatus was determined. Sawdust + corn cobs indicated the highest effect on growth as it had the highest mean height (19.5 ± 3.3 cm), diameter (29.0 ± 4.3 cm) and mean weight of individual fruiting bodies (175.8 ± 84.3 cm). Biological efficiency was highest in palm cones (77.1 %), second by sawdust + corn cobs (61.1%), saw dust (53.0%) and elephant stalk (6.3%). The protein content was highest in sawdust + corn cobs (12.4 g), lipid concentration highest in sawdust only (1.51 g), total carbohydrate highest in palm cones (82.98 g), and total ash highest in sawdust only (7.32 g) per 100 g. It was also found that supplementation of sawdust + corn cobs with Rauwolfia vomitoria had the highest phytochemical components.