Global changes, caused by anthropogenic activities, are imposing serious and growing challenges for both natural and human systems. For instance, climate change and the emergence of global diseases, as the recent pandemic of coronavirus (Covid-19), greatly affecting economic and social stability of many vulnerable communities worldwide. Traditional agroecosystems (TAE) are remarkable adaptations of crop production systems that ensure the balance of human-nature interactions. However, the abovementioned challenges are already affecting the basic foundation of crop production and rural livelihoods in TAE particularly within arid African and MENA regions. In this context, we hypothesize that these agroecosystems are playing a key role in maintaining and strengthening the resilience of human-nature systems. To verify this later, prospective surveys were conducted in six major traditional oases agroecosystems (TOAE) in southern Morocco (Alnif, Zagora, Aoufous, Rich, Guelmim and Tata oases) to describe and analyse the status of their agro-diversity considering climatic trends and characteristics. The primary results revealed that the studied TOAE are structured on a multi-strata cropping system embracing more than 180 different crops including palm trees, cereals, legumes and vegetables. Almond, olive and fig trees are major elements of arboreal strata. In addition, the results show that TOAE are cornerstones for maintaining both genetic resources conservation, as well as an important driver for local socio-economic resilience. Nevertheless, the vulnerable aspects of TOAE in the current context of climate change is undeniable. This study represents a basic initiative to value many neglected and poorly studied components of TAE and provides potential head-points for future agricultural adaptation programmes to counter global change impacts and ensure a sustainable development of such arid agro-ecosystems.

The Conservation Challenge of Traditional Agroecosystems in Morocco: The Case Study of Six Oases Agroecosystems

Boselli, Vladimiro
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2022

Abstract

Global changes, caused by anthropogenic activities, are imposing serious and growing challenges for both natural and human systems. For instance, climate change and the emergence of global diseases, as the recent pandemic of coronavirus (Covid-19), greatly affecting economic and social stability of many vulnerable communities worldwide. Traditional agroecosystems (TAE) are remarkable adaptations of crop production systems that ensure the balance of human-nature interactions. However, the abovementioned challenges are already affecting the basic foundation of crop production and rural livelihoods in TAE particularly within arid African and MENA regions. In this context, we hypothesize that these agroecosystems are playing a key role in maintaining and strengthening the resilience of human-nature systems. To verify this later, prospective surveys were conducted in six major traditional oases agroecosystems (TOAE) in southern Morocco (Alnif, Zagora, Aoufous, Rich, Guelmim and Tata oases) to describe and analyse the status of their agro-diversity considering climatic trends and characteristics. The primary results revealed that the studied TOAE are structured on a multi-strata cropping system embracing more than 180 different crops including palm trees, cereals, legumes and vegetables. Almond, olive and fig trees are major elements of arboreal strata. In addition, the results show that TOAE are cornerstones for maintaining both genetic resources conservation, as well as an important driver for local socio-economic resilience. Nevertheless, the vulnerable aspects of TOAE in the current context of climate change is undeniable. This study represents a basic initiative to value many neglected and poorly studied components of TAE and provides potential head-points for future agricultural adaptation programmes to counter global change impacts and ensure a sustainable development of such arid agro-ecosystems.
978-3-030-78565-9
978-3-030-78566-6
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11379/551039
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