Ambassadors of Biodiversity Embajadores de la Biodiversidad
It is an innovative project in which citizens, with a profile completely away from science, will contribute with their valuable experience and knowledge. These are the volunteer’s local growers from the Aragon region, the “Ambassadors of Seeds” and the heroes of our project. In their orchards, they are growing some traditional seedscollected years ago from their villages and preserved in the seed bank of the CITA research center. Many of the varieties are no longer cultivated, so the local experienced growers have the opportunity to recover the seeds, transmit their knowledge and collaborate in the research that will help their conservation and sustainable use. On the other hand, the educational community has also a major role in the project. The school centersare growing the traditional seeds in their own scholar orchards. Following a guide made for this purpose according with their educational level, the students collect the accurate data and process the information. In addition to aspects directly related to agriculture, agri-environmental educationhas been incorporated into the project, with the involvement of educators to promote attitudes and values towards the environmentand advertise about the relevanceof biodiversity conservation for the future. The seeds used for the project come from the CITA Vegetable Germplasm Bank, which holds a collection of more than 17.000 seed samples, mainly of Spanish landraces or farmers’ varieties. The knowledge compiled in the frame of this citizen science project, about the behavior of the varieties maintained in the seed bankin the locations where they were originally grown and prospected is a valuable information that could improve the value and utility of these agrobiodiversity.
The Spanish CITA research center presents the citizen science project “Ambassadors of Biodiversity”. The project involves both growers and educational community, who are the protagonists of the research, growing traditional seeds and collecting the accurate data.