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Globalization of the food system, changes in rural lifestyles and new policies (e.g. CAP) are shaping the rural landscape threatening traditional activities like sheep farming in mountain areas. In this context, it becomes critical to assess the contribution of these activities to rural development, the provision of high quality food, conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage, in order to design and implement sound policies to support and improve this activity. Using as pilot case study Aralar (Basque Country), this article shows the suitability of combining Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism and Multi-Criteria Evaluations to assess the sustainability of extensive livestock grazing systems. This framework will integrate simultaneously socio-economic, ecological and institutional criteria to assess future scenarios and to better understand the interactions that condition the performance of this complex socio-ecological system.

This media entry was a contribution to the special session „The contribution of traditional mountain livestock grazing to a sustainable food system. “ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.