A participatory agrobiodiversity conservation approach in the oases: Community actions for the promotion of sustainable development in fragile areas

Francesco Sottile, Cristiana Peano, Houda Zaidi, Stefania Caron, Mohamed Mahfoudhi, Khouloud Zammel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rural development policies today include significant directions towards ecological transition and sustainability. Biodiversity plays a fundamental role, especially in fragile environments. The North African oases, for example, are socio-ecological structures with delicate balances in terms of natural resources, where the activation of participatory conservation approaches appears today to be very useful, aiming at long-lasting results. This type of approach was applied in the oasis of El Hamma, in Tunisia. The socio-ecological analysis was carried out through semi-structured interviews with different stakeholders of the oasis. The results were used to activate focus groups and to identify, in a participatory way, a conservation strategy for the species and the varieties at risk of erosion or disappearing. From this research, a wide spread of non-traditional date palm and vegetables emerged in a very diverse social context. These products were recognized as highly significant in terms of traditional knowledge by all stakeholders. Therefore, a Maison des semences and a public conservation center for perennial species were created, representing the first step of a participatory conservation model. Seeds of 11 traditional annual species, 10 date palm varieties and, in perspective, many other fruit species and vegetable varieties have been introduced into conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-
Number of pages16
JournalDiversity
Volume13
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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