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Forgotten Agricultural Heritage : Reconnecting Food Systems and Sustainable Development (Paperback)
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Contemporary agriculture is often criticised for its industrial scale, adverse effect on the environment and disconnect from nature. Yet there are many examples of traditional smaller-scale systems from history and the present day which provide more sustainable solutions, while still maintaining food security in an era of climate change. This book provides a unique compilation of this forgotten agricultural heritage, and is based on objective scientific evaluation and evidence of the value of these systems.
The authors refer to these as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) and show how they are related to the concepts of hertiage and the World Heritage Convention. They demonstrate how GIAHS based on family farms and traditional indigenous knowledge can contribute to the maintainace of agro-biodiversity and environmental resilience, as well as sustain local economies and societies. Two substantial chapters are devoted to descriptions and assessments of 50 examples of GIHAS, ranging from traditional methods of rice culture in China, India and Japan, to pastoralism in East Africa, home gardens in the Pacific islands, coffee agroforests in Latin America and the Dehesa agro-sylvo-pastoral system of Spain and Portugal. The book concludes by providing a methodology for the rapid agro-ecological sustainability assessment of candidate systems.