PASTORALISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION
Pastoralism has a long tradition in the Mediterranean region. However, there is little evidence about its contribution to sustainable development in the region. Therefore, this review analyses the state of research on the multifaceted relations between pastoralism and sustainable development in the Mediterranean with a particular reference to the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It draws upon a systematic review of all documents indexed in the Web of Science by June 2021. The analysis of the scholarly literature suggests that (i) there is a divide with most studies performed in Northern Mediterranean countries; (ii) no article has investigated the contribution of pastoralism to the
implementation of the sustainable development agendas (MDGs and SDGs) in the Mediterranean; and (iii) most of the selected articles deal with environmental sustainability (cf. biodiversity, land use, land degradation, deforestation) while social, cultural and economic aspects are generally overlooked. The ongoing processes of intensification, specialisation and modernisation of pastoral systems do not only jeopardise the provision of various ecosystem services, but also put at risk the preservation and sustainability of traditional pastoral systems. Such modernisation also leads to the erosion of pastoral culture and the abandonment of some traditional systems such as sylvo-pastoralism and mobile pastoralism. Sustainable development of pastoralism in the Mediterranean implies improving the livelihoods and living conditions of pastoralists while preserving their unique cultural heritage and social capital and ensuring the continued provision of ecosystem systems. Such development pathway should be guided by and aligned with the SDGs.
Keywords: agro-pastoralism, biodiversity, Millennium Development Goals, pasture, Sustainable Development Goals