Background and objective

FAO-CIHEAM Mountain Pastures (MP) sub-network and the University of Life Sciences ”King Michael I” from Timisoara promote a meeting focused on the topic of the challenges mountain farms will have to face in the near future in the context of a changing environment. Not only the changes in precipitation regimes, temperatures, air-soil-vegetation systems will affect the interrelations among mountain farms, environment and society, but also recent abrupt and unforeseen events have forced farms to adapt their organization to be still competitive on the markets. The Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and some political changes for instance in the UK, combined with the severe drought during spring-summer 2022 all over Europe, put farm in front of the choice between adapting or closing down.

The meeting will cover a broad range of topics related to the strategies farmers have already adopted or will have to adopt – and the research that generated them – not to survive, but to transform constraints into opportunities with benefit for their revenues, for the environment and for the society.

Research contributions on precision mountain farming, smart agriculture (digitalisation, IoT, virtual fences, GPS), new paths for improving mountain farm productions (cheese, meat, fiber…) and their traceability, improvement of value chains, management options for enhancing the ecosystem services, and contributions from all the disciplines relevant to the adaptation of mountain livestock farming are welcome. The gathering of participants from different regions across Europe is expected to stimulate the exchange of knowledge, promote innovation and thus enabling the expertise to be bundled and implemented on a local level throughout Europe.