CULTURAL IDENTITY AND CONSERVATION OF INDIGENOUS AND NATIVE DIVERSITY

Risultato della ricerca: Otherpeer review

Abstract

The economic development of rural areas has rarely followed that of urban centres, with greater evidenceof this in developing countries where the outlying communities have remained considerably more remotefrom the systems of cultural and economic growth. Even if this has had negative repercussions in terms ofsocial equilibrium within the various countries, from a strictly agronomic point of view it has oftenresulted in the natural conservation of indigenous and native biodiversity. This has been affected by thenatural and daily use of local plant extracts both for nutritional purposes and for a variety of other reasons.The exchange of genetic material between one community and another, often a sign of respect andfriendship, has helped to increase plant diversity and to enhance its role in the everyday diet of ruralpopulations.Any activity aimed at conserving biodiversity cannot disregard the fact that native plant species (and evenmore indigenous species) now play a vital role in the cultural identity of rural communities, and thatmaking such communities aware of this precious asset can also play a strategic part in the idea ofpromoting biological diversity as a way of developing local economies. Such evidence clearly emergedthrough the various activities conducted in the context of the project, FAO GTF/RAF/426/ITA PromotingOrigin-linked Quality Products in Four Countries in West Africa, financed by the Slow Food Foundationfor Biodiversity Onlus. This project, conducted in 4 West African countries (Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau,Senegal and Mali), aimed to carry out a study of these 4 states and draw up an inventory of the traditionalplant and animal species, to examine the link between these and the diet of rural populations, and to assessthe risks of genetic erosion by actions to safeguard the native biodiversity.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Pagine619-626
Numero di pagine8
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014

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