“Contribution of Biodiversity to Food and Nutrition”, in Paris, December 15,17 of 2008


Du 15 au 17 December 2008
de 00h00 à 00h00

26th symposium of the International Commission for the Anthropology of Food (ICAF) of the International Union for Anthropological et Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) – Paris, National Museum of Natural History, 15-17 december 2008

Evaluate the knowledge on the relationship between biodiversity and well-balanced and durable nutrition.
The aim would also be to definite a program to ensure and develop this relationship.

Two issues will be considered :
• Agricultural biodiversity
The spontaneous biodiversity in food

The scientific committee, chaired by Igor de Garine, president of International ICAF, Emeritus Director of research at the CNRS, is composed of the national chairpersons of ICAF as well as, for the Museum, Serge Bahuchet, Professor and Chairman of the Department Hommes Natures Sociétés.
The 8th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2007) has underlined the importance of food biodiversity. It plays an essentiel role in fighting under-nutrition and malnutrition related to poverty and the transformation of food habits. These are associated with the use, in both rural and urban areas, of manufactured food items of dubious nutritional value and which are often out of reach for the economically underprivileged groups. These changes are also linked to a current trend of agriculture that promotes a reduced number of very efficient species (in terms of vegetation or animal breeds) and results in the increased vulnerability of food safety at world level.
The 8th COP decided to set up a pluridisciplinary programme for « promoting the increased durable use of the biological diversity in the programs which contribute to food safety and a better human nutrition ».
This symposium plans to bring together international specialists on the anthropology of
Food in order to gather and analyze traditional lore as well as scientific knowledge about the relationships between biodiversity, food and nutrition.

The following aspects will be considered :
The agricultural biodiversity
– Polyculture and biodiversity, traditional agricultures, home gardens
– Relationship between biodiversity and agricultural productivity
– Varietal diversity (cereals, fruits, vegetable etc
– Agricultural biodiversity and the nutritional role of varietal diversity
– different tastes according to the varieties.
Spontaneous biodiversity as a source of nutrients, a supplementary benefit of the agriculture
– Seasonality and supply, gathered products, hunted products and famine foods
– children food
– Non Timber Forest Products
Access to resources and the changes:
– Obtention techniques, rules for access and distribution of the products : protected and integral protected areas, zoning …
– Pressure on resources – spontaneous and cultivated – and the sustainable use of the products (management of the environment, aquaculture …)
– Changes in the food processing in conjunction with the changes in access to resources
Effects of fashion trends
– Medias, tourism : eco-landscapes, reconstructions of indigenous agriculture techniques
– Protection and conservation of the food biodiversity, spatial organization of the food supply (eg. local products , AOC, IGP etc )
Transmission of knowledge and practices related to food between generations and between social groups.
New agricultural technologies in relation to the biodiversity and food.
– Traditional agricultural technologies ; their involvement in the modernity
– biological agriculture

This conference will coincide with the 26th meeting of the International Commission on the Anthropology of Food. Each national committee is responsible for organising a conference on a rotating basis. It is the French Committee, (Chairperson F. Aubaile), which is organizing the conference in 2008.
The overall objective of the International Commission on the Anthropology of Food (founded in 1977) is to promote and coordinate collaboration and research in Biological and Social Anthropology in the Sciences of Food and Nutrition particularly encouraging ‘ multidisciplinary approach. The French Committee is hosted at the Museum (USM 104, HNS). This conference fits in the multi-field research orientation of the UMR 5145 (CNRS-MNHN)

Location of the Symposium:
Musée de l’Homme – 17, place du Trocadero – Paris, 75016

Preliminary schedule
Call for papers, April 20, 2008
Selection by the committee on 30th September
Submission of the summaries, 30th October
Symposium, 15-17th December

Contact : Françoise Aubaile -Sallenave (aubaile@mnhn.fr )
Eco Anthropologie
Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle
cp 135, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris
tel. 33 (0) 1 40 79 36 77
fax 33 (0) 1 40 79 38 91