The CLIMED project

The future of Mediterranean Livestock Farming Systems: Opportunity and efficiency of Crops – Livestock Integration

The Mediterranean livestock farming systems need to adapt with multiple and complex changes in the past and present history of the zone. The project aims to assess technical, economic and socio-ecological viability of crop-livestock systems in the Mediterranean context to help farmers, local communities, researchers and decision markers in thinking future planning for Mediterranean livestock and design priorities, rules, policies that could better deal with the socio-environmental issues in link with demographic and land pressure, increasing demand and strong high international competition.

The main objectives are:

  1. identifying efficient crop-livestock systems to better utilize water, soil, crop residues, rangeland forages… (Resource utilization efficiency) and increase the production to meet the rising local demand of safe animal products (socio-economic efficiency);
  2. assessing their adaptive capacities, vulnerability and flexibility faced to current stresses/changes;
  3. assessing their socio-ecological co-viability and resilience with regard to demographic growth and in a historical perspective;
  4. developing future scenarios and priorities for livestock development in the Mediterranean context to increase their capabilities. The project will also strengthen collaboration and interdisciplinary between and within national teams in Mediterranean through sharing research methods and data bases.

To achieve this, the project proposes:

  1. identifying, characterizing and analyzing the efficiency of crop-livestock systems from the pastoral and agro-pastoral zones to the more intensified areas in link with water management (WP2&3);
  2. assessing their adaptive capacities to change and socio-ecological sustainability in link with climatic stresses, natural capital/resources, access to technology, social and political changes (including demography, land tenure, production incentives…) (WP4&5);
  3. in order to elaborate future scenarios of Mediterranean livestock systems (WP5);
  4. in a research approach based on sharing methods and data between the national teams (WP1).

 The on-going or potential sustainable intensification processes are generally complex in the same agro-ecological zone and depend both on exogenous opportunities (market, incentives, available techniques, knowledge and experience…) and on endogenous capacities and representations (capital asset, land access, livelihood). The main challenge and opportunity of the project will be to integrate social and biological sciences within the same framework to develop an integrative and interdisciplinary analytical framework for assessing socio-ecological resilience of crop-livestock systems in the Mediterranean.

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