Agropastoralism at the heart of HNV farming in France
As part of the HNV-Link project, some 20 agropastoralism actors gathered to review the existing innovations and innovation needs related to pastoralism in the Causses and Cevennes in July 2017. They discussed many successful innovation examples. In particular, they praised the Intercommunal Pastoral Agreement on the Community of Communes of Causses, Aigoual, Cevennes Terres Solidaires. This is an agreement jointly constructed by breeders, researchers and elected representatives, in which pastoralism is declared as being of public interest and a specific pastoral zoning is created. Another European project Life + Mil'Ouv gained praise for developing user-friendly eco-pastoral advisory materials (available from http://idele.fr/).
The participants also highlighted important obstacles to pastoral activities in the area:
- Predation by large carnivores: permanent presence of wolves creates conflicts with livestock keepers.
- Difficult access to land.
- Lack of appeal of pastoral jobs among younger generation.
- Lack of recognition of the multifunctional nature of pastoralism.
- Lack of research into the consequences of climate change on rangelands and forests.
- Loss of collective facilities such as slaughterhouses.
The meeting concluded that actors must continue searching for effective solutions to meet these problems.
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