avatar for Anna Varga

Anna Varga

MTA Centre for Ecological Research
assistant research fellow
Alkotmány u. 2-4, 2163, Vácrátót, Hungary
I am an ecologist, ethnobiologist researcher at Centre for Ecological Research of the Hungarian Science Academy in Hungary. I am assistant research fellow at the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Research Group. My work focus on silvopastoral systems, wood pastures, traditional ecological knowledge, vegetation and landscape history. I take part in an EU agroforestry innovation project, AGFORWARD. I contributed in the work of the IPBES Task Force on Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems in Europe and Central Asia. I am more and more interested in environmental education and the role of gastronomy in conservation. I have just started a new research about the traditional ecological knowledge of the children and how we could integrate these in the environmental education. I am a leader of a NGO, called Hungarian Associaton for Land and People. I was one of the student representative of the International Society of Ethnobiology between 2012-2014.

About my presentation at the Summit:
Gastronomy and conservation: using foodism to change the discourse

Wood pastures (wp) are one of the most threatened biocultural hotspots of Europe. They belong to the high nature and cultural value agroforestry systems with their ancient trees, diverse wildlife and related deep and ancient traditional knowledge and heritage. These and the remarkable landscape aesthetics values of wood pastures already bring joy to everybody. Both policy and decisionmakers are increasingly supporting wood pastures as they mean an inovative way of sustaining agroforestry systems.In order to make their support efficient in practice, farmers must primarily be convinced about the importance of protecting wp. One of the ways of realising this is to involve the public in consuming products coming from wp, as well as in enjoying gastronomy. It is an universally acknowledged truth that everyone finds it delightful to eat healthy and delicious food. In the last couple of decades the most serious threat to Hungarian wp has been their abandonment, which resulted in encroachment and in cessation. Recently more and more farmers have started to restore wp into their high nature and cultural value status. In appreciation of the efforts of the farmers and in order to increase the fame of wp, Gastroangel, the most popular gastronomical tv show in Hungary has made a thematic part about how you can contribute to preserving values such as ancient trees by consuming certain products. There is a hopeful conviction that any individual’s personal experience of delightful eating creates an awarness of the possibility of taking part in the conservation of biocultural heritage in an active way.
Thursday, April 20

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Friday, April 21

09:15 BST

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Saturday, April 22

11:00 BST

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