The most misunderstood sub-sector concerning environmental health is animal husbandry, with its’ profusion of scientific evidence and counter evidence on nearly every aspect. This is mostly due to the separation of animals from the environment where they strive. Rather than animals, one ought to address “animal ecosystems, " with the infinite interactions that characterize the elementary complementarity between animals, plants and soils, as well as the cosmos and planetary influences on animal metabolism. Main environmental threats can be addressed with well-managed livestock systems, provided the existence of good management of natural processes. Climate change primarily affects vegetative cover and freshwater availability. The rational management of vegetation through extensive livestock grazing can improve water regulation and the “water production” function of mountains. The sustainability of such a management approach requires policies conducive to pastoral use of natural rangelands and forests, including also payments for ecosystem services, coupled with new market opportunities for “natural” meat and livestock products. The potential of managed pastoralism in the Mediterranean area offers perhaps the only viable solution for contain desertification and enhance water and food security.
Gregory Lazarev, Chapter 8 - Pastoralism as a response to climate change and water security in Mediterranean mountains and forests, Editor(s): Nadia El-Hage Scialabba, Managing Healthy Livestock Production and Consumption, Academic Press, 2022, Pages 123-127,,