One of the factors threatening the sustainability of rural territories is the hegemonic agro-industrial model, whose environmental and social impacts strongly limit rural life. Here, we want to call attention to the opportunities provided by alternative agri-food systems, based on agroecology and food sovereignty, as a cultural heritage to support sustainable local development. We have carried out exploratory research to draft the main agroecological initiatives in Spain, particularly those having explicit support or encouragement from public administrations. An on-line questionnaire (n = 40) was delivered, and in-depth interviews (n = 15) were carried out among a sample of people working in the Spanish agroecology sector (public and private). The results demonstrate how the recovery and promotion of traditional ecological knowledge can help to increase the capacity of the social-ecological systems to cope with shocks and disturbances and maintain long-term resilience. In addition, agroecological practices allow collective identities to emerge around the characteristics of the territory strengthening local life, placing the society-ecosystem coevolution at the center of local identity. In conclusion, although still a minority, we have showed how several types of policies conceiving agroecological practices as an intangible collective heritage, with significant transformative potential towards local sustainability, have already been implemented.
|Publication status||Published - 28 May 2021|
- Rural life
- Social identities
- Traditional ecological knowledge