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.

Pastoralism is a vitally important part of the island’s economy, particularly through the export of Pecorino cheese. Yet pastoralism is changing rapidly, as new economic, social and environmental uncertainties impinge.

An historical perspective over several centuries is important, as such uncertainties have changed over time. Processes of sedentarisation and the emergence of new forms of production on the plains, rather than transhumant systems linking seasonal sites of grazing have interacted with changes in tenure regimes, notably moves towards enclosure and the privatisation of property relations.

Such changes intersect with shifts in environmental drivers, notably climate, as climate change takes hold. Price volatility on international markets has also generated new uncertainties as producers become more reliant on globalised market networks rather than selling and provisioning locally.

A focus on uncertainty, Antonello argues, is really important for raising awareness amongst shepherds and herders, but highlighting the implications of uncertainty is perhaps especially important for policymakers.

For more on the ERC (European Research Council) funded PASTRES project, check out the website, subscribe to the mailing list for occasional updates and newsletters and follow us on Twitter.

Image credit: Dr Antonello Franca, APPIA



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