Day 1 | Dec 6   17.30 - 19.00

The role of genetic diversity, traditional knowledge and restoration of native plants in climate adaptation and resilience

International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Bioversity International, International Potato Center (CIP), CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Asociación Andes

The diversity of plants (specifically genetic resources), knowledge and partnerships play crucial roles for adaptation and resilience to climate change. Landscapes and communities also play an important part in sustaining genetically diverse native crops and trees for adaptation. The role of genetic diversity for restoration purposes was explored in two distinct contexts:

  1. Agricultural landscapes facing marked production constraints due to climate change, focusing on the Potato Park (Peru), and on the agreement between the International Potato Center (CIP) and the Potato Park to reintroduce native potatoes.
  2. In order to restore forests on degraded lands for carbon sequestration and climate mitigation and to improve livelihoods in Colombia, native species and genetically diverse seeds are used to establish self-sustaining ecosystems.

Key findings were presented of a baseline study on the role of crop diversity, traditional knowledge and linkages between traditional knowledge and science to innovate for adaptation. A conceptual approach was also introduced that combines different scientific disciplines to guide tree-based restoration activities on the ground.

Key questions addressed:

  1. What are the roles of genetic diversity and traditional knowledge in adaptation and restoration in different contexts?
  2. How can native plant diversity be effectively, sustainably and equitably restored in agricultural and forest landscapes?
  3. How can knowledge sharing and mutually beneficial partnerships between communities and scientists be promoted for adaptation?

Background reading:

A marriage to save the earth: Farmers and researchers innovate to conserve biodiversity

Biocultural Heritage Territories

Adapting agriculture with traditional knowledge

Importance of genetic factors in forest landscape restoration

Genetic Considerations in Ecosystem Restoration using native Tree Species

Genetic Considerations in Ecosystem Restoration using Native Tree Species (long version)