“AGROBIODIVERSITY: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR RESEARCH, ENTERPRISE AND COMMUNITY IN MOUNTAIN AREAS”: this was the topic dealt with by the UNIMONT Center of Excellence – Mountain University, Edolo Campus of the University of Milan, at Seeds & Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit which took place on Tuesday 7th May 2019 at the Lombardy Region Stand at Milano Rho Fiera. The issues addressed were consistent with the global agenda of the initiative and in general with the SDGs of the United Nations.
UNIMONT highlighted the fundamental role of small farmers in protecting the territory, ensuring food security and preventing the reduction of biodiversity. Furthermore, innovation in tradition with the rediscovery of ancient varieties was emphasized since it can provide new excellence in order to facilitate short supply chains and circular economy solutions.
These processes are possible thanks to the fundamental collaboration between local communities, local government bodies and research centers, with the latter favoring the spread of good practices and also providing a scientific background for the enhancement of the unique and competitive food chains of the Italian mountains. The creation of a network with civil society, in particular with young entrepreneurs, is therefore an indispensable element to facilitate territorial innovation.
In conclusion, it emerged that collective action is needed to protect and conserve mountain areas, which occupy more than 40% of Lombardy and more than 35% of Italian. These territories are the heart of biodiversity and, therefore, they must be conserved considering their particular vulnerability to social evolution and climate change.