Wool in Mediterranean regions: a forgotten and neglected product of sheep or a natural and renewable resource for the future?
Concern for the environment and the requirement to save energy have given the opportunity to rediscover a forgotten and neglected product of the sheep breeding, namely, wool. In the Mediterranean regions, sheep breeding is often an important activity and some initiatives are already taken for giving an added value to wool. Examples from Italy, Spain, France and especially in Corsica are given in this paper. Some effects of these initiatives are shown: interest growing for organic wool, local products, creation of jobs in rural areas, links with the traditional cultures combined with innovative and modern applications. Coordination and exchange of know-how between all the initiatives in Europe is necessary for widening all these experiences. The ATELIER-Wools of Europe is active since 1989 at the European level for networking all these activities. It makes a global promotion for the wool as a natural and renewal resource and promotion for the producers as well as the processors using it.