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Past events

Rosario meeting: LiFLoD workshop at the IX International Rangeland Congress (IRC) 2011, April 2 - 3, Rosario (Argentina)

Livestock farming embedded in local development: a functional perspective to alleviate vulnerability of farming communities

Farming communities worldwide are vulnerable and face uncertain futures. This workshop examines how livestock farming is embedded in local development from both a theoretical and operational perspective and in turn enhances the functional integrity of the agro social ecosystem. Industrialization and rationalization of production systems is the dominant agricultural development paradigm. Under existing market and policies conditions its aims is to optimize the use of resources for environmental (mitigation and adaption to climatic changes and energy scarcity) and socioeconomic factors (provision of food for consumption and revenues from the farming enterprise. All around the world, the dominant paradigm does not alleviate the household vulnerability: it selects farmers in relation to their capacity to engage and maintain their farm in the industrialization path, to face risks and to contribute to sustainability through high productivity levels according to a resource sufficiency point of view. Vulnerability of individual farms is, thus related to insufficient resource maintenance or to inefficient resource management weakening the life conditions of the producers, especially their income. In this context, Liflod Network (Livestock Farming and Local Development Network: see appendix 1) propose to consider another theoretical perspective â€" that of preserving the capacity for resilience of the agro social ecosystem as an alternate development paradigm. The functional integrityť approach of sustainability stresses the vulnerability arising from a lack of understanding of the systemic interaction of production practices and innovations with the processes of ecological and social renewal. The local territorial level is considered critical in the definition of the agro socio- ecosystem interactions and dynamics. The policy strategies emerging emphasize the preservation of the capacity for resilience, the avoidance of irreversible effects and systemic understandings designed to mitigate unintended consequences. The issue is therefore, one of forestalling irreversible changes in an agro socio-ecosystem while pursuing better understanding of critical trajectory-changing points (see appendix 2 for further details on functional integrity approaches).

 

Hohhot meeting: LiFLoD workshop at the VIII International Rangeland Congress (IRC) 2008, June 28-29, Hohhot (Mongolia)

A paradigm shift in livestock management: from resource sufficiency to functional integrity

Controversies on livestock farming systems are galore! The most common argument we hear is about livestock being one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas production. Is the reality that simple? Is it the only basis on which we can assess the true value of these systems? Is it an open and shut case or is there a genuine need to go beyond these controversies? This book tries to delve into these issues and understand what really underpins livestock farming in today’s globalized world. To the question, “what drives livestock farming ”?, we have answers not only from researchers but also first-hand accounts and hands-on experience from practitioners and development agents spanning different continents. From resource sufficiency to functional integrity, sheds a new light on what constitutes “resources” for these systems. Are they finite and given or can they be dynamic and “regenerated”? What in the end ensures that livestock farming systems are rendered resilient: ecosystem long term dynamics, animal grazing adaptive behavior, collective action, learning, cultural aspects… The authors discuss about these new perspectives and diversity of novel approaches to managing livestock farming systems, set against the backdrop of Canadian prairies, Andean highlands, South American Pampa, French Mountains right through African Sahel Tibetan Plateau and Mongolia, to name just a few.