New Spaces of Dystopia and Sustainability: Transforming the Geographic Dynamics of Biodiversity Use and Social Access in Food Systems Amid Global Change
Dr. Karl Zimmerer
Professor of Environment and Society Geography
Pennsylvania State University
Abstract: Strengthening food access, quality, and sustainability is widely recognized as requiring the integration of biodiversity into diet and nutrition as well as land use. This need is acute among multiple demographic groups though it is less frequently raised in regard to the rural poor and periurban populations whose livelihoods are rapidly changing. New results and proposed research in multiple sites of Latin America, Europe and the U. S., Africa, and Asia are used to discuss the geographic dynamics of these interactions. Analysis is focused on the combined capacities and limits (social and political ecological) impacting the use of biodiversity in food systems, land use, and livelihoods amid epochal global changes that are both environmental (climate change) and socioeconomic changes (urbanization, neoliberal globalization). It reflects on how this new engagement with food systems can contribute insights to geographic and human-environment understandings of sustainability, justice, biodiversity, and social movements. This research urges us to rethink several current understandings paradigms in order to strengthen necessary policy, movements, and management.