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SPNL and TyN Bringing Back Transhumanze to Save Biodiversity

The Society for the protection of nature in Lebanon (SPNL) signed a partnership agreement with Transhumancia y Naturaleza – Spain (TyN).

Both parties agreed to pursue their shared objectives through means of a Partnership Agreement establishing the basis for mutual collaboration and development of projects aiming at linking nature and culture conservation through pastoralism and transhumance. TyN team that visited Lebanon consisted of Francesca Pasetti and Concha Salguero. SPNL General Director Assad Serhal praised the cooperation with TyN “Shepherds Without Borders”.

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SPNL and TyN delegation met with the Minister of Agriculture His Excellency Dr. Hussien El Hajj Hassan at the Ministry in Bir Hasan, Beirut. Through the meeting, the Minister was acquainted to the experiences of the Spanish NGO Shepherds Without Borders / Transhumance and how they are willing to help us benefit from their experience especially in transhumance and grazing in Lebanon. Additionally, both parties spoke about the obstacles and challenges faced in grazing and the transhumance history between Syria and Lebanon, as well as traced some of the transhumance routes that still exist between both countries considering the troubled situation in Syria. Moreover, several employees at the Ministry of Agriculture were assigned to help SPNL in the transhumance project, by collecting data and reports about grazing. Transhumance is a seasonal migration of livestock between summer pastures (highlands, usually northerly latitudes) and winter pastures (lowlands, southerly latitudes).

Spain is the only country in the world protecting drove roads since the XIII century, grassland of 124.000 Km, with a surface of 420.000 ha. (0.83% of the country). Their direction is almost N-S, allow ecological connectivity between different ecosystems
Spain is the only country in the world protecting drove roads since the XIII century, grassland of 124.000 Km, with a surface of 420.000 ha. (0.83% of the country). Their direction is almost N-S, allow ecological connectivity between different ecosystems

Matching a herd’s need for forage with seasonal peaks in pasture availability assures the best and less expensive year-round supply of feed for the animals . Transhumance is one of the many customary practices developed by ancient Mediterranean societies to cope with marginal land and an unpredictable and highly fluctuating climate. It creates a cultural landscape that includes a complex mosaic of habitats. Pasturelands and agrosilvopastoral systems in the summering area are strongly dependent on the presence of livestock and climatic limitations make any other type of cattle or sheep management very difficult.

Transhumant herds regressing to Andalucia after the first snowing in the mountains Albarracín (Teruel).
Transhumant herds regressing to Andalucia after the first snowing in the mountains Albarracín (Teruel).

Since 1992, “Concejo de la Mesta” (Shepherds Council created XIII century, disappeared 1986, recovered 1992) and “Trashumancia y Naturaleza” collaborate with shepherds to bring back traditional transhumance on foot.

Trashumancia create several sustainable tourism options including Horse-riding along the “Cañadas reales” during the months they are not used by shepherds. Many tourists are expecting the development tourism packages that allows them to enjoy: sun, gastronomy, unique landscapes and the pure, Bird-watching, Festive events (Festivals, Music, Gastronomy…), Alternative vacations participating actively in a complete transhumance trip, and using drove roads for mountain bike.

For more information about TyN visit:  www.pastos.es

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