In the past, mountains have been primarily perceived as places distant from centers of economic and cultural development. This led to common views that these areas represent Less-Favoured Areas (LFA) and, consequently, consensus for public support to farming activities in those areas has gradually risen since the European Commission defined mountains (1975) as the type of areas most affected by LFA challenges.
By Valeria Leoni, PhD student in Environmental Sciences at University of Milano – Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Mountain wildflower honey: an endangered portrait of mountain grasslands
Mountain wildflower honey is a picture of the spontaneous flora of the mountains, an excellence from meadows and pastures of our Alps, habitats protected by the European directives. Beekeeping in environments where spring and summer are short is tougher, inside a general framework where pollinators are facing may difficulties and are in constant decline. (more…)
Many rural municipalities have a shrinking population, an increased share of elderly and a decreasing share of young people. This is frequently the case in mountain communities.
Shrinkage causes economic problems and a need to reduce the cost level for municipal services, including reducing staffing and the number of service locations public services or centralise them within the municipality. This is painful to local communities. Another issue is over-investments, based on wishful politics of a future population growth which turns out to be absent. This often accelerate economic problems. (more…)
Marc Gràcia, Polyfarming coordinator, and Ángela Justamante, Polyfarming communications coordination.
Agriculture releases 12% of the total CO2 Spanish emissions into the atmosphere every year. Producing food is essential for our survival, so is reducing emissions. Is there an agri-food model capable of reversing this situation? CREAF, through the LIFE Polyfarming project, funded by the European Commission’s LIFE programme, demonstrates with scientific data that the regenerative agri-food model, focused on restoring soil health, is a feasible solution to this global challenge. (more…)
When launching the journal Mobilities, the opening editorial statement from Hannam, Shelly and Urry (2006, p. 1) read: “Mobility has become an evocative keyword for the twenty‐first century and a powerful discourse that creates its own effects and contexts.” They see a fundamental ‘mobility turn’ transforming the social sciences, rather than just putting a new topic on the table. (more…)
The Vercors Regional Natural Park is about to finalise the revision of its roadmap for the period 2023-2038. And this has been the case study some students fom ISARA –an engineering school specialised in agriculture, food science and environment– followed recently. (more…)
Mountain grasslands: an endangered habitat
Grasslands cover 15.9% of the area of the EU-28 and are the third most widespread habitat (EC, 2016) with invaluable contribution for public goods and ecosystem services (Plantureux et al., 2016). Yet, today more than 75% of the grassland area in the EU-28 is considered to have an unfavourable conservation status (EEA, 2020). (more…)
Loen is an idyllically located village in Western Norway. It is surrounded by mighty mountains on both sides, in a beautiful fjord landscape: with Lodalen valley and Lovatnet lake in the back, and the fjord in the front. Loen is not large with its approximately 600 inhabitants, but the number of people increases sharply during the tourist season. In the last years, growing popularity of social media such as Facebook and especially Instagram, has led to a drastic increase in the amount of tourists visiting Lodalen a valley offering an astonishing view of a glacier surrounded by steep mountain slopes and bathing in a turquoise lake water. However, the local infrastructure is not ready for such a load and the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the area can be threatened.
As mountainologists, we have often had the opportunity to interact with policy- and decision makers on different topics related to sensitive subjects on the correct perception of the mountain area or the mountain demarcation method compared to the geographic contiguity zone. There were also heated debates on the subject of EU regulations and the legislative framework that form the base of mountain policies, sometimes contradicting published specialist research.