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Article

The Perception of Ecosystem Services of Mountain Farming and of a Local Cheese: An Analysis for the Touristic Valorization of an Inner Alpine Area

1
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences—Production, Landscape, Agroenergy, University of Milan, 20133 Milan, Italy
2
Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences, University of Turin, 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8017; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198017
Received: 24 June 2020 / Revised: 16 September 2020 / Accepted: 27 September 2020 / Published: 28 September 2020
Mountain husbandry systems and their related products may directly or indirectly provide either ecosystem services (ESs) or disservices to humanity. The present study aims to evaluate the perception that a local mountain community has towards animal husbandry in the Lanzo Valleys (Piedmont, Italy) and towards the typical local dairy product, Toma di Lanzo, as well as to investigate the consumers’ habits and preferences, to detect possible positive impacts on mountain tourism. A questionnaire was delivered to 233 respondents. The perception of the impact was scored using a five-point Likert scale. The results show a very positive perception of the product Toma di Lanzo because of its origin and type of processing, with different perceptions of the local society depending on age (p < 0.01), residence (p < 0.01), and education level (p < 0.05). The respondents had a very positive awareness of the impact of mountain livestock farming in the Lanzo Valleys. The most important perceived ESs are cultural identity and maintenance of local breeds. Women, non-residents, and respondents with an intermediate education level generally had a more positive perception of ESs. There was a very low perception of disservices derived from mountain animal farming. The main perceived obstacles to the spread of benefits derived from these farming systems were the scarce presence of specific supporting politics and the low income generated by mountain farming activities. The coexistence of touristic activities and extensive livestock farming systems has to be associated with a better promotion of mountain products like Toma di Lanzo to improve the sustainability of mountain regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Italian Alps; ecosystem services; mountain farming; typical dairy products; local communities Italian Alps; ecosystem services; mountain farming; typical dairy products; local communities
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MDPI and ACS Style

Montrasio, R.; Mattiello, S.; Zucaro, M.; Genovese, D.; Battaglini, L. The Perception of Ecosystem Services of Mountain Farming and of a Local Cheese: An Analysis for the Touristic Valorization of an Inner Alpine Area. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8017. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198017

AMA Style

Montrasio R, Mattiello S, Zucaro M, Genovese D, Battaglini L. The Perception of Ecosystem Services of Mountain Farming and of a Local Cheese: An Analysis for the Touristic Valorization of an Inner Alpine Area. Sustainability. 2020; 12(19):8017. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198017

Chicago/Turabian Style

Montrasio, Rebecca, Silvana Mattiello, Martina Zucaro, Dino Genovese, and Luca Battaglini. 2020. "The Perception of Ecosystem Services of Mountain Farming and of a Local Cheese: An Analysis for the Touristic Valorization of an Inner Alpine Area" Sustainability 12, no. 19: 8017. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198017

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