29 March 2021

Research and innovation for the enhancement of Italy’s agrobiodiversity: UNIMONT’s activities in support of sustainable development

The international scientific journal Diversity has recently published the article “The Analysis of Italian Plant Agrobiodiversity Databases Reveals That Hilly and Sub-Mountain Areas Are Hotspots of Herbaceous Landraces” which reports the results of research conducted by UNIMONT concerning agro-biodiversity, a strategic issue for the European Green Deal.

The research on agrobiodiversity conducted by UNIMONT – the Centre of Excellence of the University of Milan, as part of the agreement with the DARA – Department for Regional Affairs and Autonomies of the Italian Presidency of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, has allowed the creation of a unique database of over 1600 traditional herbaceous cultivars (landraces) grown in Italy.

This work, in addition to enriching the state of knowledge on Italian agri-food resources, has for the first time highlighted that the hilly and mountainous areas of the Apennines and the Alps are hotspots of unique plant resources, and therefore strategic for the Italian agricultural and food sector and for the development of mountain areas.

In order to make the results of this research accessible to all and to trigger future actions of characterization, protection and promotion of these resources, through the use of innovative and technological tools, UNIMONT researchers have created an online and open source interactive map where the traditional local cultivars recorded can be viewed. The map is freely available on the UNIMONT website: click here

Thanks to its substantial research activity, the UNIMONT centre aims to produce new knowledge and develop new technological and scientific stimuli that are fundamental in strategic sectors for the future of mountain areas, such as agrobiodiversity, climate change, youth entrepreneurship. Such issues are ambitious, realistic and consistent with new environmental challenges and the European Green Deal.

Read the article!

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