The changing dynamics of Sardinian pastoralism: why an uncertainty lens is important

Most people’s image of Sardinia is based on the picture-postcard scenes of beaches and smart tourist resorts along the coast. But Sardinia also has an important livestock production sector, and pastoralism is central to the wider economy. Sardinia is most famous for its pecorino cheese, made from sheep’s milk. Most of us know the hard grating Pecorino Romano PDO cheese exported globally, but there are multiple other varieties too, and sheep, goat and cow’s milk production for cheese-making and meat offtake are all-important.

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Can pastoralists benefit from payments for ecosystem services?

By Linda Pappagallo

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes are gaining popularity as an environmental and development policy tool, linked to poverty reduction as well as enhancing ecosystem sustainability. Spurred by environmental motives, different financial and non-financial incentive schemes are designed, theoretically to create positive social and environmental impacts. For example, as part of the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), payments for agri-environmental measures are offered.

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Institutional innovation for resource management on the Tibetan plateau, China

The PASTRES country lead for China, Gongbuzeren, has a fascinating new article out in Ecology and Society (open access), together with Lynn Huntsinger and Wenjun Li. It is based on extended fieldwork on the Tibetan plateau and explores how pastoral communities are responding to rapid economic and policy change.

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Designs on the range: corridors, grabs and extractions at the pastoral margins

By Jeremy Lind

The past ten years have seen the spread of large-scale investments in infrastructure, resources and land across pastoral areas of eastern Africa. In the past, these areas were insignificant to states in the region and large capital from beyond – at least compared to the region’s agrarian highlands and Indian Ocean coast. Yet, the recent rush to construct pipelines, roads, airports, wind farms, and plantations – to give a few examples – signals a new spatial politics that binds the pastoral margins ever closer to state power and global capital.

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IFAD and FAO commit to pastoral development

By Michele Nori and Linda Pappagallo

Pastoral development is witnessing a revival in recent years, and UN and other international agencies have not avoided the challenge of properly relocating pastoralism in their development agendas.

For example, the Rome based agencies, IFAD (the International Fund for Agricultural Development) and the FAO (the UN Food and Agriculture Organization) have a long history of engagement in pastoral development, and are revising their approach in pastoral areas. Two new documents have recently been released that show this commitment: the Joint Evaluation Synthesis of FAO’s and IFAD’s Engagement in Pastoral Development and the IFAD toolkit, Engaging with pastoralists – a holistic development approach.

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‘Playing with variability’: Michele Nori explains how we can learn global lessons from pastoralists

Dr Michele Nori helps lead the PASTRES project from a base at the European University Institute in Florence. With experience of research and development work in many pastoral areas, he reflects in this new video on his work in Somalia.

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The study of uncertainty is vital for the future of pastoralism in Sardinia, says Dr Antonello Franca

A new PASTRES video has just been released featuring Dr Antonello Franco, PASTRES lead for Sardinia from the Institute of Animal Production Systems in Mediterranean Environments in Sassari, Italy. It reflects on the importance of the project for the island of Sardinia.

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The PASTRES project ‘comes at the right time’, says China lead researcher, Dr Gongburezen

Dr Gongburezen is the lead researcher for PASTRES in China. Based at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu and working closely with Wenjun Li at Peking University, he will be coordinating PASTRES work in the pastoral areas of Qinghai and Sichuan.

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The vegan craze: what does it mean for pastoralists?

There’s a vegan craze in full swing in Brighton in the UK – and it seems more broadly. There was a vegan festival near my house the other weekend, and vegan graffiti (in washable chalk, I hasten to add) appears frequently in our local park. My daughter became a vegan for a period a year or so ago after a school trip to a local farm. I have nothing against veganism, and I see its potential health, welfare and environmental benefits, certainly for consumers in northern Europe. But what would a mass shift from livestock products mean for poor pastoralists living in marginal areas?

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