Herders, farmers, conservationists and ecologists working together for better grassland management in Hungary

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 11 May, 2017 - 13:15
, Zsolt - MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Hungary
, Daniel - MTA Centre for the Humanities
, Marianna - MTA Centre for Ecological Research
, József - Fábiánsebestyén
, János - Tatárszentgyörgy
, Anna - MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Hungary


The mutual dependence of extensive land-use and conservation management has become apparent in Europe in the last decades. Extensive land-use and the connected traditional knowledge often survive in protected areas only, in the form of conservation management. However, there is a lack of understanding of the functioning of these traditional systems. We conducted participatory research to develop management practices in the Kiskunság and Hortobágy National Parks, Hungary. Using participatory techniques, we developed tradition-based conservation mangement practices and agricultural regulations that fit both the needs of conservationists, and the herders/farmers, and are region-specific and culturally appropriate. Twelve traditional herders, 7 mountain farmers and 14 conservation rangers participated in the research. Beside the usual reports and publications, films were produced, and one paper solely written by herders. Based on our common work, we introduce a new term, the 'conservation herder' - a traditional herder with an understanding of modern conservation concepts.