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Accepted Paper:

Ecologies of citizenship: reviving rastoralism in the Polish Carpathians  
Nicolette Makovicky (University of Oxford) Pawel Sendyka (Jagiellonian University)

Paper short abstract:

Focusing on transhumant pastoralism in the Polish Carpathians, this paper highlights the tensions which exist between Polish and European policy-makers’ visions of sustainability, and vernacular perceptions of agency amongst the Highland pastoralists themselves.

Paper long abstract:

Focusing on contemporary transhumant pastoralism in the Western Polish Carpathians, this paper examines how discourses of environmental conservation, rural development, and 'best practice' are negotiated, appropriated, or rejected by shepherds, bureaucrats, and civic actors. Pastoralism in the area is supported by a complex European Union policy framework, which is itself structured by high-order international environmental charters, most notably Natura 2000. Shepherds benefit from Common Agricultural Policy support for transhumant livestock management in the form of direct payments, and subsidies funnelled through regionally managed environmental programmes which favour protection over output, stressing biodiversity conservation and sustainable land use. Those who graze their sheep in protected areas face additional restrictions and regulations (but also certain financial advantages). Focusing on shepherds working in national forests and parks, as well as several existing public-private partnerships designed to promote the use of highland pasture and the production of specialist cheeses, the presentation will throw light on the tensions which exist between Polish and European policy-makers' visions of economic and environmental sustainability, and vernacular perceptions of identity and agency amongst the Highland pastoralists themselves. I argue that policy-maker's tendency to rely on 'organizational citizens' to voice the concerns of pastoral communities and practitioners creates certain silences and omissions. Firstly, it ignores the limitations created by neoliberal funding parameters and an uncertain post-socialist fiscal environment. Secondly, it fails to recognize the possible value of pre-existing institutional infrastructures and local traditions of collective action.

Panel P066
"Green policies" and people living inside European protected areas
  Session 1