Share11 December 2019The transhumance, the traditional pastoral practice of seasonal migration of cattle along the tracks and towards better climatic conditions, was unanimously included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, decided the Intergovernmental Committee in Bogotà.
Italy thus acquires the primacy of inscriptions in rural and agri-food sectors, surpassing Turkey and Belgium. And satisfaction with the choice of UNESCO was expressed by the agricultural policy ministers Teresa Bellanova and the Environment, Sergio Costa.
From Trentino to Amatrice, from Irpinia to Puglia, the symbolic places
The favorable opinion expressed by the 24 countries during the ongoing intergovernmental committee in Bogotà, in Colombia, concerns all of Italy very closely: the emblematic communities indicated in the dossier as symbolic places of transhumance are many, including the municipalities of Amatrice (Rieti) from which the candidacy started immediately after the devastating earthquake, Frosolone (Isernia), Pescocostanzo and Anversa degli Abruzzi in the province of L'Aquila, Lacedonia in Upper Irpinia in Campania, San Marco in Lamis and Volturara Appula (among other things, the town of premier Giuseppe Conte) in the province of Foggia, along with territories of Lombardy, Val Senales in Trentino Alto-Adige, and Basilicata.
The transhumant pastors, as highlighted by the candidacy dossier presented by Italy together with Greece and Austria at Unesco, have a thorough knowledge of the environment, of the ecological balance between man and nature and climate change: it is in fact one of the more sustainable and efficient farming methods.
Today transhumance is practiced mainly between Molise, Abruzzo and Puglia, Lazio, Campania, and in the North between Italy and Austria in Alto Adige, in Lombardy, Valle d'Aosta, Sardinia and Veneto.
'' This is the tenth recognition for Italy in this list - underlines the curator of the candidacy dossier, Pier Luigi Petrillo from Bogotà - and brings us the world record of awards in the agri-food sector, after enrollment in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Mediterranean diet, the practice of cultivating sapling vines of Pantelleria, the art of the Neapolitan pizza maker, the technique of dry stone walls and the wine landscapes of the Langhe and Prosecco ''.
The value of pastoralism
'' An important recognition - underlines Coldiretti - which confirms the social, economic, historical and environmental value of pastoralism that still involves 60 thousand farms in Italy despite the fact that in the last decade the 'Italy flock' has gone from 7.2 million sheep at 6.2 million losing a million animals ". And that protects" an activity with a high ecological and social value that is concentrated in disadvantaged areas and guarantees the protection of 38 breeds for the benefit of the biodiversity of the territory ". on their survival, notes Coldiretti, "it is the low prices paid to the shepherds, the multiplication of attacks by wild animals, the unfair competition of foreign products sold as nationals but also of the massive consumption of land that has drastically reduced the spaces and the traditional routes used precisely because of the transhumance of the flocks ".