Michele Nori

Marie Curie Fellow

Michele Nori is a Tropical Agronomist (University of Florence - IT) with a further specialization in Rural Sociology (PhD at Wageningen University – NL).

With about 20 years of field experience on the technical as well as socio-economic aspects of natural resource management in different regions of the world (mostly Africa, but also Asia and LatinAmerica), where he has mainly dealt with the livelihood systems of pastoral communities.

By intensively working at the interface between academic, field as decision-making levels, he has developed an ‘horizontal career’, based on collaborations with and consultancies to a number of organizations at different levels: civil society, UN agencies, research institutes, donors offices as well as the European Commission Development Cooperation and EU Delegations.

His list of publications ranges from scientific papers to technical notes to advocacy documents on matters relates to sustainable pastoralism.

His current concern is to adequately inform policy decision-making on aspects of rural development, food security and natural resource management in the Mediterranean region – a domain where migrations plays an increasingly important role.

He has been awarded a Marie Curie fellowship to investigate on the increasingly relevant role of immigrant shepherds for the sustainability of pastoral systems in Mediterranean EU countries – a specific case study within the debate about migrants’ contributions to farming and rural development in Europe.

Research Project

TRA_MED patterns of pastoral migrations in the Mediterranean region

The research 'Mediterranean Transhumances' aims at contributing to the debate about migrants’ contributions to farming and rural development in Europe, through the specific case study of evolving pastoral systems in the Mediterranean, with a view to contribute to the development of appropriate policies at local as well as at European level.

The recent reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) allocates an increasing emphasis on the proper management of mountain areas and agro-ecologically fragile territories – those often inhabited and operated by shepherds.  While the societal demand for the services as well as the products of pastoralism is growing, this is not reflected by improvements in the living and working conditions of shepherds in neither economic, nor social terms.

Current dynamics rather indicate that the sons of shepherds often tend to opt out from the sector and look for alternative livelihoods and professions - leaving thus pasturelands exposed to a lack of generational change. In such context an increasing presence of immigrant shepherds is reported. The shepherds who come to provide their workforce on southern European pastures often originate from pastoral communities in other parts of the Mediterranean region. The living and working conditions of these migrant shepherds are often extremely difficult and precarious, but cases of virtuous contracts and dignified conditions are also reported.

The research will address these issues in order to contribute to a proper understanding of the dynamics affecting Mediterranean pastoralism and the increasing relevance on immigrants to this domain – in order to adequately inform the policy framework at local as well as at European levels.

View Publications

the project is funded by the European Union mcEU