Session 14: Grazing as a management tool to build cultural landscapes

Organisers:  Manuel Pulido1, Miguel Cortés Tamayo2, Ali El-Keblawy3 and Tobias Plieninger4

1GeoEnvironmental Research Group (GIGA), University of Extremadura, 10071 Cáceres, Spain

2Ovino del Suroeste (OVISO) Sociedad Cooperativa Limitada, 06700 Villanueva de la Serena, Spain

3Department of Applied Biology, University of Sharjah, 27272 Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

4Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


Pastoralism is a human activity practiced worldwide by more than 500 million people. Its role as a modifier of land has been crucial throughout history either as a forest/shrub clearing or as one of the driving forces behind of many land degradation processes. The effects of grazing on environment are context-dependent on climate, topography and land management. This latter is usually adapted both to local physical conditions (rainfall, soil, slope, etc.) and to time-dependent cultural, economic and political factors. So, we intend, on the one hand, to expand the knowledge of different past and existing land management systems, ranging from subsistence farming to much more complex ways based on innovation and market strategies. And, on the other hand, we aim to better know how conservationist paradigms (e.g. European Union agri-environmental measures) as well as restoration strategies (e.g. fencing exclusion) have influenced, or are influencing, on the past/current land management at different territories/biomes. Therefore research and management experiences throughout the world which grazing be dealt as the most important factor are very welcome. This session is aimed at gather multidisciplinary works from different perspectives (applied or pure science): history, economy, society, policy, land planning, cultural legacy, animal welfare, ecology or geomorphology.