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Researchers:

  • Laura Calvet Mir (ICTA-UAB)
  • Marina Di Masso (Research Associate)
  • Victoria Reyes-García (ICREA & ICTA-UAB)
  • Petra Benyei (ICTA-UAB)
  • Sara Guadilla Sáez (ICTA-UAB)
 

In Europe, traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is largely being lost. Despite this rapid erosion, we can still find pockets of knowledge, typically held by elders living in rural areas of Europe. Given the rarity of this knowledge, researchers have argued that it is hard to widely collect it and more so to present it in a format available to the wider population. Previous projects in Spain (IECT) are gathering documented knowledge by means of extensive literature reviews. However, this task is highly time and effort consuming. Giving answer to the need to create new tools to gather and share TEK, this project builds an online citizen science platform to gather and share TEK. Initially, the platform will focus on agroecological knowledge (referring to knowledge on different landraces and agroecological management techniques used in a given agroecosystem and passed through generations of farmers). Latter, the project is expected to scale up to all useful plants and ecosystems. In order to bridge the technological gap that normally prevents knowledge holders (mainly elders) form sharing their knowledge online; the project will also work with young rural populations. This will be done by means of promoting the platform together with an educational program that will be offered to students undergoing agricultural technical studies in rural areas. The educational program will be firstly applied in Catalonia, but is expected to become a national program included in the agricultural technical studies’ curriculum. In addition, the project will also try to bring onboard a diversity of citizen groups (namely the local seed networks) that have already started collecting agroecological knowledge and that could help to upload it in order to share it and preserve it.    

This project is directed by Victoria Reyes-García (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and counts with the collaboration of a diversity of Spanish research centers (UAM, UB, IBB and IMIDRA). It is funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (CSO2014-59704-P).

Publications

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