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Title: Exploring the links between agricultural biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being : evidence from the Yucatan, Mexico
Authors: Blundo Canto, Genowefa Maria
metadata.dc.contributor.advisor: De Muro, Pasquale
Keywords: Agro-biodiversity
capability approach
ecosystem services
Mayan households
Issue Date: 16-Jun-2014
Publisher: Università degli studi Roma Tre
Abstract: This study hypothesises that the application of an integrated and multidimensional human well-being - ecosystem approach can improve our understanding of agricultural biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides in terms that are meaningful to the people that depend on them, allowing us to draw relevant policy implications. We develop an Extended- Capability-Ecosystem-Approach based on Duraiappah (2004) to analyze the relationship between the conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity and different aspects of the well-being of households, including their conversion factors, capabilities and endowments. The empirical focus is on farming households of the Yucatán, Mexico, where Mayan descendants depend on agricultural biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides for their subsistence, food security, and culture, often within marginal economic and agronomic conditions. The possible expansion of opportunities open to people through education and employment appears coupled with a process of ageing of the population working in agriculture and rural out-migration. The latter seems related to the use of higher crop diversity on farm and the conservation of local varieties, posing issues of future loss of genetic resources, associated knowledge and cultural values. Geographical isolation also appears to contribute to a higher level of crop diversity and a more intensive use of off farm ecosystem goods. Finally, the work of women on farm is significantly associated with conservation of local varieties and higher crop diversity for consumption, indicating that conservation strategies should take into account the gender dimension of associated knowledge and preferred characteristics of varieties. It emerges that agrobiodiversity and related ecosystem services represent fundamental safety nets, the basis for consumption stability and a risk diversification strategy, often linked to cultural and social practices, but the difficult condition of life in rural areas cannot be overlooked. The relationship between socio-economic characteristics of households and agrobiodiversity calls for a more coherent and concerted conservation strategy linking the action of development and environmental agencies. The recognition of the needs and aspirations of different groups in the population might favour the creation of appropriate incentives for the conservation of crop genetic resources on farm and the sustainable use of off farm ecosystem goods, expanding the real opportunities that people enjoy.
Access Rights: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Appears in Collections:Dipartimento di Economia
T - Tesi di dottorato

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