Environmentally and socially beneficial outcomes produced by agri-pastoral systems in national park Cévennes (France)

Marielle BERRIET-SOLLIEC ±1 – François LATASTE 2* – Denis LÉPICIER 1– Virginie PIGUET 1

1 AgroSup Dijon UMR 10 41 CESAER, FRA
2 BRL Ingénierie, FRA
± Corresponding author:

Our paper intends to present the results of a case study realized in “National Park of Cevennes” in the PEGASUS H2020 Project  (Lataste and Piguet, 2016). PEGASUS is a European research project aiming to develop innovative approaches and new ways of thinking about the way farmland and forests are managed in order to stimulate a long-lasting improvement in the provision of public goods and ecosystem services from agricultural and forest land in the EU.

Recognizing that the appreciation of public goods and ecosystem services is context-dependent, PEGASUS uses social-ecological systems (Ostrom, 2005; McGinnis and Ostrom, 2014) as an analytical framework to explore systemic inter-dependencies among natural, social and economic processes. We adopt participatory action research with public and private actors and stakeholders to better understand the range of policy and practical challenges in our case study contexts (Knickel et al., 2016).

More precisely, we propose to use the notion of Environmentally and Socially Beneficial Outcomes (ESBOs) as a synthesis of public goods and ecosystem services. This term ESBOs has been defined in a first conceptual step of PEGASUS project (Dwyer et al., 2015; Maréchal et al., 2016) to design the intended (non-economic) outcomes from activities in agriculture and forest ecosystems.  Conceptually, the notion of ESBO aims to include main interests of both concepts (Knickel et al., 2016): from public goods it recognizes the importance of understanding markets, values, drivers of production and levels of societal demand as well as relative under-supply. From ecosystem services it will analyze and increase understanding of dynamic linkages between food or timber production and the condition and provision of environmental and cultural services.

The central research question is: how to improve the provision of ESBOs (in this Cévennes case study landscapes and biodiversity) in agriculture and forestry by assessing the influence of the main drivers, including market drivers, social ones and public policies?

To answer this question we realized open interviews with eight main stakeholders: State administration, National park Authority and six members of local associations involved in agriculture, forestry, training, environment, tourism and promotion of local products. These interviews were conducted with map supports and questions directly linked with the PEGASUS analytical framework and SES diagram. We crossed these interviews with requesting evidences and data sources (Lataste and Piguet, 2016).

Thanks to this empirical methodology we got five main results:

  • Importance of the National Park authority about stakeholder’s coordination and local governance;
  • Landscape ESBOs inherited from past agro-pastoral practices rather than from modern agriculture practices;
  • Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape threatened by global Market drivers despite of the UNESCO label and the National Park Policy;
  • Main ESBOs provided by neo-rural farmers with “unconventional” and innovative practices (organic/biodynamic production, short supply chain, innovative transformation process, etc.);
  • Touristic sector and local residents are the main beneficiaries of ESBOs linked to the territory attractiveness and its quality of life.

We point out the importance of the market drivers that do not take much account of the provision of ESBOs and also the perverse effects of the Common Agricultural Policy rules and tools which are not adapted to local agro-pastoral practices. The distinction between agricultural productive area subsidies and environmental grants leads to a landscape homogenization and a loss of inherited features. Furthermore, our researches highlight the recognition of local specificities and agro-/sylvo-pastoral practices at the national and regional level, high social capital and very dynamic associations, innovating and promoting environment awareness and landscape value within the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.



This research is included in the PEGASUS project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 633814

PEGASUS project


Dwyer, J., Short, C., Berriet-Solliec, M., Lataste, F.G., Pham, H.V., Affleck, M., Courtney, P. and Déprés, C. 2015. Public goods and Ecosystemic Services from agriculture and forestry: a conceptual framework. D1.1 PEGASUS Report. Project H2020 No 633814, 39 pp.

Knickel, K., Short, C. and Sterly, S. 2016. Exploring innovative and participatory approaches for ESBOs delivery. Methodological guidelines. WP4 PEGASUS Report. Project H2020 No 633814, 33 pp.

Lataste, F.G. and Piguet, V. 2016. National Park Cévennes FR3. Case study report D4.1, Pegasus H2020 Project No 633814. 22 pp.

Maréchal, A., Baldock, D., Hart, K., Dwyer, J., Short, C., Pérez-Soba, M., Paracchini, M.L., Barredo, J.I., Brouwer, F. and Polman, N. 2016. The PEGASUS conceptual framework. D1.2 PEGASUS Report. Project H2020 No 633814, 44 pp.

McGinnis, M. D. and E. Ostrom., 2014. Social-ecological system framework: initial changes and continuing challenges. Ecology and Society 19(2): 30.

Ostrom, E., 2005. Understanding Institutional Diversity. Princeton University Press, Oxford.