Local Places, Global Influences: Pastoralism in Xiberoa and EU Regulation
This chapter focuses on the basis of ongoing research work into transhumance in the Alta Ribagora, examining the context in which it takes place and its relationship with the different public authorities' policies towards stock farming. The chapter shows the transhumance as a strategy enabling pastures located in different ecological settings to be exploited in a complementary way throughout the annual cycle, in a particular social, economic, demographic and political context. Transhumance today is different from what it was 200 years ago: the people involved, the destinations and calendar of movements, the orientation and organization of production, and its relationship with other social and economic activities have all changed. Nevertheless, the continuity of transhumance is also linked to social and cultural aspects in connection with the tough working and living conditions of shepherds. Employment possibilities in the same area arising from tourism make the personal cost of working in sheep farming and transhumance ever higher, so contributing to its abandonment.