This highly original volume investigates and documents the complex interactions between small family farms and Man and Biosphere Reserves in Cuba.

Covering over two decades of research in agriculture and biodiversity conservation in Cuba, this book provides a unique case study about sustainable agriculture. It shows how the agricultural biodiversity maintained in situ by family farms within those protected areas provides a strategic source of crop genetic resources, including seeds and planting materials, as well as agroecological knowledge and practices. Agricultural practices within and around the Biosphere Reserves have helped to promote local food security through healthier and more diverse food production, while contributing to the conservation of biodiversity and of ecosystems. The book also reports on the adoption of transdisciplinary methods, combining ecological, agronomic, and socio-economic research, along with participatory methods involving farmers in research to document ethnobotanical and farmer knowledge, revealing rich spots of agrobiodiversity maintained in landscapes, seed systems, and nurseries managed by farmers. It covers a range of ecosystems and biocultural landscapes from arid tropics, tropical hillsides and savannas, montane rainforests, and coastal areas. It examines how family farms in diverse Cuban ecosystems use biodiversity, agro-ecological knowledge, and techniques while sustaining natural and farming landscapes in a scenario of climate change, frequent disasters, and socio-economic and policy changes.

This book will be most suitable for those studying or interested in farming practices, biodiversity conservation, food security, agrobiodiversity, and sustainable development, as well as in Cuban studies.

chapter |6 pages


chapter 1|8 pages

The Cuban Archipelago

Biological diversity, ecosystems and landscapes

chapter 3|10 pages

The western mountains

The Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve

chapter 4|9 pages

The eastern mountains

Cuchillas del Toa Biosphere Reserve

chapter 5|10 pages

The lagoons

Peninsula de Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve

chapter 6|12 pages

On the edge of Sierra Maestra

Baconao Biosphere Reserve

chapter 7|15 pages

Nature's Matrix

The quality of managed and natural landscapes

chapter 16|9 pages

Voices of the farmers

Representations of sustainable farming and agrobiodiversity