Closed sessions > Methodology and Conceptual Frameworks for Territorial Inclusive Development in Highlands

• Methodology and Conceptual Frameworks for Territorial Inclusive Development in Highlands

Session organizers: Marie Houdart, Sylvie Cournut, Jean-François Tourrand

“Territory Approach” has just recently become a key-word for the European Community, although several research teams from different countries had already been using it for a long time to analyse socio-ecosystems and the ways in which the human dimension and natural resources are strongly interconnected, particularly in Latin and Mediterranean areas. Moreover, the concept of “territory” or “localality” is usually used in contrast to the term “global”, as global and territorial are systematically two opposite faces of the same reality.

The session Methodology and Conceptual Frameworks for Territorial Inclusive Development in Highlands will focus on the complementarities between “global” and “local”, especially the way in which the territory scale mitigates the global change impact and strengthens its effects. The session will thus focus on providing methods that allow us to describe, to understand and to model the roles and functions of territory in sustainable and inclusive rural development, in order to stimulate and encourage the innovative capacity of local populations and to suggest adapted policies and collective actions. This session will deal with specific cases of rural territories with regards to territorial inclusive development. The contributions, in the field of animal science, agronomy, economy, geography and social sciences, will deal with:

  • participatory tools to better integrate local knowledge and scientific expertise, especially to draft the long-term history of each territory and to build scenarios for the future,
  • interactive interviews with local stakeholders directly involved, or not, in territorial development,
  • and comparative analysis between the European case studies, and also the international ones.

Photo H.M.


Mende, Thursday, September 6th 2018

•14:00-14:30 Introduction and presentation of the project Highlands

Marie Houdart (JRU Territoires, Irstea, France)

Jean-François Tourrand (Cirad, France)

Sylvie Cournut (JRU Territoires, VetAgroSup, France)

• 14:30-16:h00 Three case studies in Highlands

14:30-15:00 Luís Filipe Santos (Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, Portugal), L. Oossterbeek, L. Anastacio, L. Caron

People, Highlands and Protected Areas: The Portuguese Local Development Initiatives

The delicate balance between human occupation and conservation policy is a concurrent conflict of historical, economic and cultural nature. Inflexible legislation applied on conservation areas, which were previously accessible to cultural and economic practices creates dualistic feelings between environmental conscience and social rights. Societal reasoning is a clear-cut understanding that the implementation of conservation policy brings loss, while this is a comfortable situation for conservationists, it raises retaliation in the form of illicit practices. Despite stumbling endeavours through the years, UNESCO launched a new paradigm for nature conservation in the new forms of Reserves, as for example Biosphere reserves (MaB) and Geoparks, achieving the three interconnected functions: conservation, development and logistic support, outpacing traditionally confined conservation zones, through the implementation of sustainable development fostered by local dwellers and enterprises with highly innovative and participative governance systems. The involvement of local communities in the management will re-establish dialogue for conflict resolution, integrating cultural, biological and geological diversity along policies based on research and monitoring. This may be a solution for the long-term divorce between communities and nature conservation, thus there is no recipe for success and each case is singular. The main concept is that “people make territories” whereas, territories just shape people. Building on this the Highlands project aims to counteract the loss of population trend, further aggravated in the last two decades, using examples of success and implementing them in less successful regions. As a first step towards the final goal, the Portuguese partners present 3 case studies which will surely share many common characteristics with other regions worldwide. The option to choose associations and not private initiatives is due to the fact that these associations involve a larger number of initiatives enabling any area of research to share knowledge with us. Despite the apparent success, these associations have had many unsuccessful cases, which will grant the necessary structural knowledge for better results. Besides initiatives, every partner will have some referential research area, the IPT will endeavour their research efforts in areas such as Integrated landscape management, remote communities problems and solutions, people’s response to protected area implementation, historical dynamic occupation of highlands and tourism in all its facets.

15:00-15:30 JM Trillo and Valeria Paül (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain)

The Emergence of a Mountain Tourism Destination: the Case of Trevinca-A Veiga (Galicia)

Over the last few years, an emerging body of literature regarding the ‘invention of the mountain’ notion has emerged ― i.e. the mountain as a social, political and cultural construction rather than a mere physical geographical materiality. Our presentation applies this literature to the development of a tourism destination, trying to understand when a particular place begins to attract tourists to the point of being considered an up-and-coming destination, and how it makes use of the ‘mountain’ landscape category. The case of Trevinca-A Veiga (Galicia) as a mountain destination is analysed. Following a constructivist approach, in-depth interviewing is privileged in order to scrutinise how the ‘invention’ has taken place. The presentation shows how the mountain has been used as a differentiating attribute for the studied emerging tourism destination. Several scholars have suggested that mountains provide a ‘niche’ for the tourism industry. However, this presentation evidences this claim must not be seen as an a priori conception; the mountain per se is not ready to be visited and marketed. To the contrary, in order to become a tourism destination, it must first be adopted, activated and developed. The research concludes by providing a number of recommendations to develop a new destination in a low-density, remote and mountainous area.

15:30-16:00 Carine Pachoud (Institut für Geographie/Universität Innsbruck, Austria, and UR Green/Cirad)

Effectiveness of the dispositives of territorial governance. The case of the artisanal Serrano cheese value chain in the Campos de Cima da Serra, Southern Brazil.

The dominant model of globalized and production-oriented agriculture often leads to the exclusion of rural mountain areas and to the marginalization of their traditional food value chains, of which cheese is particularly interesting. Territorial governance, defined as a dynamic process of coordination between local actors, is of growing interest in a territorial development perspective to allow construction of endogenous projects. Dispositives of territorial governance ensure the organization of the discussion and the coordination between the various actors concerned. This analysis has been conducted in the artisanal Serrano cheese value chain in southern Brazil. It is an informal chain; the cheese sales have become illegal as a result of new consumer preferences for young instead of matured cheese, and national hygiene standards incompatible with small-scale and artisanal production. The aim of this article is to compare the functioning and the effectiveness of the dispositives implemented in the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, where the territory of the Campos de Cima da Serra is located, in order to better understand the processes of territorial governance. In the results, we observe first that two different strategies are implemented. In Santa Catarina, there is a strong coordination between all municipalities; whereas in Rio Grande do Sul, municipalities are acting independently, leading to less effective dispositives. Extension services are in both states the central actor of the collective action and bind the different actors together. Also, the need of participation of other local actors, and not only of the value chain, is essential to integrate the different activities of the territory (i.e. tourism, other artisanal goods, etc.) and lead common and integrated projects of territorial development

Coffee Break (16:00-16:30)

16:30-18:30 Three other case studies in Highlands

16:30-17:00Local Development Initiatives in Piatra Craiului National Park (Romania)

Ilinca-Valentina Stoica (University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography and CICADIT, Romania ), Anca Munteanu (University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography, Romania), Mircea Verghele (Piatra Craiului National Park Administration, Romania), Daniela Zamfir (University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography and CICADIT,  Romania)

Piatra Craiului National Park (PNPC) is geographically located in the central part of Romania, in the Southern Carpathians Mountains. Ever since 1938, on the territory of PNPC, a natural reserve was initially established, and since 1990 the area has become a national park, its administration being constituted in 1999. The park overlaps part of Zarnesti town, Moeciu (the villages Magura and Pestera), Bran, Rucar and Dambovicioara communes. The population of the park and of its immediate vicinity is over 30,000 people. The landscape is spectacular, with a main limestone ridge (over 25 km long with over 2000m heights) with numerous vertical walls, valleys, canions, caves, but also with traditional villages where a number of customs and traditions have been preserved, which has led to the transformation of this area into a major tourist attraction in Romania. Tourism is an important activity in the villages situated in the analyzed area, with several pensions being built, plus mountain chalets. As a result, biodiversity is under continuous human pressure, which has become more and more pronounced in recent times. Traditional livestock (with numerous herds of sheep and cattle), traditional products, forestry related activities etc. play an important role in the local economy. Park administration interacts with local communities for: the rational use natural resources, the encouragement and promotion of local values through the development of sustainable activities etc. The PNPC specific landscape is generally well preserved, however, it is possible to identify some areas where it has been altered through anthropogenic activities such as chaotic construction, uncontrolled household waste disposal, decommissioned quarry etc. The purpose of this paper is to analyze local development initiatives to highlight the innovative capacity of the local population and to identify the challenges arising from the restrictions imposed by the protected area status. In this regard, a series of interviews with key stakeholders, local population and park management will be conducted, on the basis of which the main directions of local development will be identified.

17:00-17:30 – Building foresight scenarios to support sustainable livestock development in the North West Highlands of Vietnam

Guillaume Duteurtre (Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD, France)), Le Thi Thanh Huyen (National Institute of Animal Science (NIAS, Vietnam)), Mélanie Blanchard (CIRAD, posted in Vietnam), Jean-Daniel Cesaro (CIRAD, posted in Senegal), Stephan Ives (Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIAR, Australia)

Livestock is an important component of Integrated Rural Development in the North-West Highlands of Vietnam. However, standardized modes of production that develop rapidly in the lowlands are facing major constraints in the highlands, because of the specific socio-economic and ecological environment. In this context, a group of Vietnamese, French and Australian researchers have developed a method to support sustainable livestock strategies in this region. This method is based on building foresight scenarios to share research results with local stakeholders, and to transform them into strategic orientations. Our method considers three levels of partial scenarios to be developed: farm, value-chain and at landscape. Research results conducted at those 3 scales are shared with local stakeholders in participatory workshops. They allow to draw contrasted scenarios and to assess their impacts on sustainable development. The application of this method on the pig sector in one district of the Son La province underlines the impact of globalization on local farming dynamics. The setting up of commercial networks in this region providing improved hybrid maize seeds, industrial animal feed, and “super-lean” piglets leads to the development of maize monoculture and intensive pig fattening. These new activities generate family income, but with high social and environmental costs: they lead to the rapid “decoupling” of crop and livestock activities, to soil degradation, as well as to a growing farmers’ dependence on commercial firms in terms of credit, techniques and prices. The foresight scenarios suggest some other development pathways based on agro-forestry, better manure management, and diversification of pig activities towards specific quality pork value chains. We plan to further develop this foresight approach to another district in the neighboring province of Dien Bien involved in beef-cattle production. In this context, we plan to discuss in particular the role of natural pastures that seem to be important for beef cattle farming, despite the fact that they are not formally recognized in the local land tenure regulation.

17:30-18:00 – Pastoral Pact Causses-Aigoual-Cévennes: a negotiated right for the landscape

Olivier Barrière (IRD, France)

In this participatory research experiment, the landscape is seen as a formalization of a territorial project around the maintenance of pastoralism.

A territory project around the landscape/ In this case, we are face to a bottom-up approach shared by all the actors of the territory (farmers, breeders and associations of breeders), institutions (‘Entente Causses-Cévennes’, National Parc, Safer, Chamber of Agriculture, ...), local politicians. A whole community of communes (local politicians and civil society) takes the project in charge in order to participate to the maintenance and the development of pastoralism for territorial reasons: social (identity), economic (livestock, tourism ...), ecological (opening environments), and landscaping.

A negotiated right to shape the landscape / The project goes through the co-construction of a right between all territorial actors, participants and other stakeholders. It lies on the adoption by the community of communes of a pastoral pact (vote, deliberation), i.e a territorial legal regulation (prescriptive regulatory territorial act). In this pact, there is a long preamble that defines values and principles; it is connected national and international law but is also made of legal innovations: pastoral servitude, integration of pastoral zoning in urban planning documents, priority to pastoral activity in the transfer of properties; some public policy guidelines on the maintenance and development of pastoralism.

A "Commun", the pastoral landscape, on a heritage territory (common heritage) / formalization of a common (territory, identity, issues, ...) by the pastoral pact and a participatory democracy associated with a representative democracy.

18:00-18:30 Discussion and Conclusion and next steps in Highlands

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