First results of stakeholder engagement

LIFEstockProtect aims to foster acceptance for implementation of livestock protection by engaging with stakeholders. Thematical working groups on the three most urgent challenges for the implementation of livestock protection are planned. Here, the first thematic working group dealt with framework conditions for livestock protection. First results of stakeholder engagement

Multitude of challenges

In total 69 local persons involved in grazing animal husbandry and the return of wolves participated in three meetings (one in each project region). Goals of the moderated discussion rounds were to gather challenges and chances for grazing animal husbandry and identify potential solutions for challenges in regard to livestock protection.

The scope of challenges identified was wide. Most frequently named challenges were (i) insufficient financing for grazing livestock and its protection, (ii) lack of knowledge transfer and consultancy, and (iii) lack of staff, especially shepherds. Proposed solutions indicated that extensive support directed at measures to prepare and implement livestock protection is crucial for the acceptance of such measures. This mainly involves funding for additional workload and investments associated with livestock protection as well as high quality consultancy that is readily available.

Negative framework conditions

The discussions also highlighted that the sector of grazing animal husbandry, especially in alpine regions, appears to have little resilience to new stressors from the outset due to numerous negative framework conditions that are subjects of agricultural policy. Therefore overall improvements for working conditions in this field have the potential to alleviate tensions between conservation and land use interests.

We will discuss the results of the meetings with experts in each project region to develop concrete recommendations that we will subsequently present to respective decision makers. Furthermore the thematic working groups on media (challenge 2) and tourism (challenge 3) in regard to livestock protection will start 2023.

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