Genes, gastronomy and gratitude

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Pinni A building, Paavo Koli auditorium, address: Kanslerinrinne 1.

Ulla Ovaska

Doctoral defence of Lic.Soc.Sc., MA. Ulla Ovaska

Genes, gastronomy and gratitude : The development and future of the conservation of native breeds

The field of science of the dissertation is Environmental Policy.

The opponent is professor Tiina Silvasti (University of Jyväskylä). Professor Pekka Jokinen acts as the custos.

The language of the dissertation defence is Finnish.

Genes, gastronomy and gratitude : The development and future of the conservation of native breeds

The number of native breeds has diminished globally during the last decades. Many breeds have already become endangered or even extinct. The loss of native breeds is still continuing, which will ultimately lead to a global loss of their genetic resources (AnGR) and thereby a loss of agrobiodiversity. The modernisation of agriculture with new technologies and breeds has especially contributed to the situation in which native farm animals have been replaced by better-yielding breeds. Yet, there are multiple reasons to conserve breeds. Many are adapted to difficult climate conditions, and therefore play an important part in answering to future environmental challenges, such as climate change. In addition to their role in sustainable agriculture, there are other reasons to conserve native breeds including, e.g., their role in the landscape, cultural history and rural livelihoods.
This research examines the development and future of the conservation of native breeds in two case studies: the conservation of the Yakutian Cattle in the Sakha Republic in the Russian Federation and the conservation of native breeds in Finland. The study revealed that despite different contexts in the conservation of native breeds, common milestones, arguments for conservation and challenges to it can all be identified. The conservation in both case studies has followed and contributed to international development, and has benefited from the opportunities that have opened up to conservation at national and local levels. The arguments for the conservation of native breeds consist mainly of biological, economic, cultural and other social factors. Native breeds can be maintained if there are actors willing to aim for common goals. This requires cooperation between actors and institutions at different levels and sectors of conservation. The ES approach provides a feasible communication tool to achieve this, because it identifies multiple benefits obtained from native breeds.

The dissertation is published in the publication series of Acta Universitatis Tamperensis; 2312, Tampere University Press, Tampere 2017. The dissertation is also published in the e-series Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis; 1816, Tampere University Press 2017.

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