Conny Almekinders, Wageningen University, Social Sciences, 6700EW Wageningen, NL
Steven B. Brush, Center for Science and Innovation Studies, UC Davis, U.S.A.
Stef de Haan, International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Agricultural Genetics Institute, Pham Van Dong, Tu Liem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Timothy Johns, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Quebec H9X 3V9, Canada
Julia Lupp, Ernst Strüngmann Forum, 60438 Frankfurt, Germany
Yves Vigouroux, Director of Research, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Montpellier, France
Karl Zimmerer, Department of Geography, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, U.S.A.
To consolidate and advance the multidisciplinary foundations of science and scholarship on agrobiodiversity
To examine the inkages among key focal areas
To develop an integrated scientific framework of agrobiodiversity to address sustainability amid global change
Agrobiodiversity, broadly defined, refers to the diversity in biota that arises through interactions with resource-use environments and human behavior. Human impact on food crops and livestock diversity, for example, is determined by decision-making processes at various scales, sociocultural preferences, food consumption patterns, social movements, civil society sectors, and governance institutions. Multiple system levels are involved, including the genomes, varieties and species of plants and animals as well as those encompassing cultural and socio-ecological interactions that occur in different agroecosystems and landscapes, within and among regions and countries.
Recognition of the complexity of agrobiodiversity is increasingly replacing the conventional prognosis of genetic wipeout in centers of diversity or of an inevitable narrowing of the genetic base of food-related biota. The multifarious elements of agrobiodiversity and the knowledge systems entailed range from genetic resource use, ecology, and conservation to governance, food systems, and social-ecological interactions. This knowledge is expanding in conjunction with global change and advances in fields closely related to agrobiodiversity (e.g., genomics and environmental governance). However, care must be taken to avoid the proliferation of isolated approaches along disciplinary lines. Conceptual and knowledge synthesis from which core integrative questions emerge is urgently needed.Top of page