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Interdisciplinary approaches to conserving endangered crop diversity, agricultural and food heritage 
Philippa Ryan (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)
Mark Nesbitt (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)
Dorian Fuller (University College London)
Jose Julian Garay-Vazquez (University College London)
Krystyna Swiderska (International Institute for Environment and Development)
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Tuesday 26 October, 15:00-16:30

Short Abstract:

Globally, many traditional farming systems are rapidly changing. An interdisciplinary approach is essential in conserving crop diversity and food heritage, by considering crops within their local cultural, ecological, and historical context, and from cultivation to cooking and consumption.

Long Abstract

We invite contributions that discuss the conservation of agricultural and food heritage, for example addressing - the role of traditional and indigenous crops and cultivation practices in resilience; approaches to conserving endangered crops, other neglected species and associated knowledge; links between local crops, foods, cultural practices and values; changes within indigenous and traditional crop and foodsystems in recent decades; and perspectives from the historical or archaeological record on the long-term regional history and benefits of 'orphan' crops and traditional cultivation practices.

Agricultural heritage as a concept can encompass crop diversity and uses, the wider agricultural landscape and culturally specific cultivation and crop processing practices, related material culture and intangible heritage. Agricultural and food heritage are further connected by the crop varieties that provide the raw resources for cuisine. All these elements are situated and sustained within Indigenous peoples' knowledge systems, cultural and spiritual values, and holistic worldviews, or 'biocultural heritage'. Key issues include the need to better understand how these components relate to each other, and how this can help their conservation. For example, how do new crop introductions alter agricultural practices and foodways? how can approaches bring together botanical and environmental sciences, humanities, and local perspectives? What is the impact of globalisation on local agri- and food-systems, and how can a better understanding of local contexts can address global challenges?

Key words - environmental and botanical sciences and humanities, ethnobotany and archaeobotany, orphan crops, food

Accepted papers:

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