Conserving biodiversity through use: Memory banking experience
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This presentation describes the memory banking methodology, program experiences, and results within the SANREM-Andes project. Based on the belief that indigenous knowledge about plants should accompany global efforts in genetic resource conservation and use, a method called "memory banking" has been designed and implemented in Nanegal and Cotacachi, Ecuador. This involves training of local youth collect culturally useful plants and the complete food system knowledge of their elders. While the plants and seeds are being locally propagated in community or household in situ gardens, young people acquire an appreciation of local biodiversity while increasing local use through seed selection, production, storage, and preparation. The Memory Banking protocol has been adopted widely by US seed saving groups, the International Potato Center, and other biodiversity conservation groups.