Livestock farming is facing major challenges at a global level due to increasing uncertainty in markets, policies, socio-cultural trends and the environment. One of the main focus in research and policy design is to reconcile the sometimes conflicting objectives ofdelivering both animal products and environmental services. Therefore, focus has been placed on the designof more "sustainable" farming systems, emphasizing the multifunctional role of livestock in the preservation of natural resources and the socio-economic development of rural areas.
On mountain pastures in particular, adequately conducted livestock can be a tool for the efficient management of large areas of high natural value. At the same time, it can sustain a viable economic activity and provide differentiated products that fulfill societal demands for quality and environmentally-friendly production. Optimizing these aspects requires a multidisciplinary approach, combining research and development on ecology, animal, plant, social and environmental issues. Exchanging information on these aspects is the overall objective of this meeting.