2019-12-11 Transhumance wins UNESCO status. Transhumance, the seasonal droving of livestock along migratory routes in the Mediterranean and in the Alps. A candidacy proposed by Italy, Austria and Greece.
Transhumance shapes relations among people, animals and ecosystems. It involves shared rituals and social practices, caring for and breeding animals, managing land, forests and water resources, and dealing with natural hazards. Transhumant herders have in-depth knowledge of the environment, ecological balance and climate change, as this is one of the most sustainable, efficient livestock farming methods. They also possess special skills related to all kinds of handicraft and food production involved. Read all about the nomination and the decision at the fourteenth session of the Committee on UNESCO website
Transhumance – literally, ”crossing ground” – sees herders, often on horseback and accompanied by dogs, drive sheep and sometimes cattle across the country in search of seasonal pastures. The tradition isn’t unique to Italy, but the country remains one of the few in Europe to have preserved its ancient network of transhumance routes, some of which are still used by herders today. .. ”Transhumance as a cultural force, with a strong element of identity, has managed to create strong social and cultural bonds over the centuries between the people practising it and the places they pass through, as well as representing a sustainable economic activity characterized by a special relationship between man and nature whose symbolic force has influenced all fields of art,” the Ministry of Agriculture said in filing the application. Also see current article 2019-12-11 in online newspaper ANSA