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Sheep farming systems and nature management of rangeland in French Mediterranean mountain areas
For the past ten years, sheep farmers from the French Mediterranean area have been able to use agri-environmental farming schemes to prevent the development of forest on rangelands and to preserve biodiversity in these open areas. These new environmental concerns are the background for an investigation into the management of long-term interactions between farm practices and systems on grazed land. This includes an analysis of how farmers change their management practices.
Considering these practices in their socio-technical dimension, we carried out a survey among sheep farmers within the Luberon Natural Regional Park to analyse the process of transformation in practice, as sheep farm sizes are also roughly increasing. We will show how changes in practice are linked with the ability of farmers to integrate these into new farming systems. But it is also related to the social status of these practices in relation to local professional groups, who define the social framework concerning farming activities and who attribute value to different practices.
Integrating these links between the technical and social dimensions of practices is a challenge for producing indicators able to evaluate the abilities of farming systems to change in order to participate in the medium term environmental management.
Où le trouver : Livestock Production Science, Volume 96, Issue 1