The Ecrins National Park organized a meeting of its Agriculture Commission to discuss repeated droughts and fears arising from the impact of alpine farming practices on high altitude environments. The alpine pasture was pronounced an area of shared challenges in terms of climate change, involving the co-responsibility of livestock farmers and the Park. It was also seen as an ideal area for observation and intervention based on cooperation. The ideas put forward led to the creation of the Sentinel Alpine Pastures programme.
The ultimate aim of this programme is to anticipate the impact of climate events in order to ensure sustainable alpine pasture management. Studying modes of adaptation to events is part of a long-term approach to address the complex dynamics of climate change. We show how this approach, the information collection protocols and the data capitalization methods implemented aim to meet the requirements stemming from this current issue: involvement of all actors (livestock farmers and herdsmen, farming technicians, pastoral systems specialists, researchers and managers of protected areas), collective learning based on shared observations, and integration of an alpine pasture farms system. The programme works as a tool providing help with analysis and decision-making in relation to processes involving the climate, the environment, pastoral practices and livestock farming systems. The work collectives implementing it are also paving the way for new forms of governance in terms of the relations between pastoralism and local area stakeholders.