chapter  7
16 Pages

Pastoralism and Heritage in the Central Pyrenees: Symbolic Values and Social Conflicts

This chapter reports on a long-term project on the environmental history and current political ecology of French and Spanish region of the Mediterranean Pyrenees. The main argument here is that a new form of localism has emerged in the Pyrenees, in areas that have long struggled with maintaining a productive agro-ecological environment. This localism as nationalism has surfaced under various guises, whether dubbed regional patrimony or cultural preservation, as small Pyrenean villages face a wholesale conversion of their local life ways. However, localism differs from the past forms of non-state nationalism in that it uses the actual or historic 'state of landscape' to drive or derive its specific form. The new aspect of environmental or resource perception is now adding a type of 'ecological ethnicity' argument to local rhetoric for preserving land-use types and traditional types of landscapes, ones thoroughly humanized.