Local ecological knowledge (LEK), including but not limited to the use of wild food plants, plays a large role in sustainable natural resource management schemes, primarily due to the synergy between plants and people. There are calls for the study of LEK in culturally diverse areas due to a loss of knowledge, the active practice of utilizing wild plants in various parts of the world, and a decline in biodiversity. An ethnobotanical study in a border region of Latvia, characterised by diverse natural landscapes and people with deep spiritual attachments to nature, provided an opportunity for such insight, as well as the context to analyse wild food plant usages among different sociocultural groups, allowing us to explore the differences among these groups. Semi-structured interviews were carried out as part of a wider ethnobotanical field study to obtain information about wild food plants and their uses. The list of wild food plant uses, derived from 72 interviews, revealed a high level of homogenisation (in regards to knowledge) among the study groups, and that many local uses of wild food plants are still actively practiced. People did not gather plants as a recreational activity but rather as a source of diet diversification. The results provide evidence of the importance of safeguarding ecological and cultural diversity due to high local community dependency on natural resources.

Active wild food practices among culturally diverse groups in the 21st century across latgale, Latvia

Pruse B.;Simanova A.;Mezaka I.;Soukand R.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Local ecological knowledge (LEK), including but not limited to the use of wild food plants, plays a large role in sustainable natural resource management schemes, primarily due to the synergy between plants and people. There are calls for the study of LEK in culturally diverse areas due to a loss of knowledge, the active practice of utilizing wild plants in various parts of the world, and a decline in biodiversity. An ethnobotanical study in a border region of Latvia, characterised by diverse natural landscapes and people with deep spiritual attachments to nature, provided an opportunity for such insight, as well as the context to analyse wild food plant usages among different sociocultural groups, allowing us to explore the differences among these groups. Semi-structured interviews were carried out as part of a wider ethnobotanical field study to obtain information about wild food plants and their uses. The list of wild food plant uses, derived from 72 interviews, revealed a high level of homogenisation (in regards to knowledge) among the study groups, and that many local uses of wild food plants are still actively practiced. People did not gather plants as a recreational activity but rather as a source of diet diversification. The results provide evidence of the importance of safeguarding ecological and cultural diversity due to high local community dependency on natural resources.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3757818
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