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Article

The Importance of Keeping Alive Sustainable Foraging Practices: Wild Vegetables and Herbs Gathered by Afghan Refugees Living in Mansehra District, Pakistan †

1
Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus, University Road, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
2
Department of Plant Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan
3
Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172 Mestre, Italy
4
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kabul University, Jamal Mina, Kabul 1006, Afghanistan
5
Faculty of Pharmacy, Puncak Alam Campus, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor 42300, Malaysia
6
Department of Botany, Women University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Bagh 12500, Pakistan
7
UMR UL/AgroParisTech/INRAE 1434 Silva, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université de Lorraine, BP 70239, CEDEX 54506 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France
8
University of Gastronomic Sciences, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II 9, 12042 Pollenzo, Italy
9
Department of Medical Analysis, Tishk International University, Erbil 4401, Iraq
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is dedicated to the memory of first author’s father (Afsar Khan Manduzai), who, as many others Afghans, fled to Pakistan in 1980; Afsar has been one of the key study participants of this survey and unexpectedly passed away on 18 December 2020, while this paper was in its final preparation phase.
Academic Editor: C. Ronald Carroll
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1500; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031500
Received: 5 January 2021 / Revised: 18 January 2021 / Accepted: 26 January 2021 / Published: 1 February 2021
The issue of foraging for wild food plants among migrants and relocated communities is an important one in environmental studies, especially in order to understand how human societies rearrange their practices linked to nature and how they adapt to new socioecological systems. This paper addresses the complexity of Traditional/Local Environmental Knowledge (LEK) changes associated to wild vegetables and herbs across four different groups of Afghan refugees living in Mansehra District, NW Pakistan, since 1985. Via interviews with eighty study participants, forty-eight wild vegetables and herbs were recorded, representing both the past and present wild plant gastronomic heritage. The majority of the quoted wild plant ingredients were only remembered and no longer actively used, thus suggesting an important erosion of LEK. Moreover, the number of wild vegetables and herbs currently used by Afghan Pashtuns engaged in farming activities is much higher than those reported by the other groups. The findings indicate that practiced LEK, i.e., knowledge that is continuously kept alive via constant contact with the natural environment, is essential for the resilience of the biocultural heritage, which is, however, also influenced by the rearrangement of social life adopted by refugees after relocation. View Full-Text
Keywords: wild food plants; herbal teas; ethnobotany; LEK; Afghans; refugees; Pakistan; cultural adaptation wild food plants; herbal teas; ethnobotany; LEK; Afghans; refugees; Pakistan; cultural adaptation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Manduzai, A.K.; Abbasi, A.M.; Khan, S.M.; Abdullah, A.; Prakofjewa, J.; Amini, M.H.; Amjad, M.S.; Cianfaglione, K.; Fontefrancesco, M.F.; Soukand, R.; Pieroni, A. The Importance of Keeping Alive Sustainable Foraging Practices: Wild Vegetables and Herbs Gathered by Afghan Refugees Living in Mansehra District, Pakistan. Sustainability 2021, 13, 1500. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031500

AMA Style

Manduzai AK, Abbasi AM, Khan SM, Abdullah A, Prakofjewa J, Amini MH, Amjad MS, Cianfaglione K, Fontefrancesco MF, Soukand R, Pieroni A. The Importance of Keeping Alive Sustainable Foraging Practices: Wild Vegetables and Herbs Gathered by Afghan Refugees Living in Mansehra District, Pakistan. Sustainability. 2021; 13(3):1500. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031500

Chicago/Turabian Style

Manduzai, Ajmal K., Arshad M. Abbasi, Shujaul M. Khan, Abdullah Abdullah, Julia Prakofjewa, Mohammad H. Amini, Muhammad S. Amjad, Kevin Cianfaglione, Michele F. Fontefrancesco, Renata Soukand, and Andrea Pieroni. 2021. "The Importance of Keeping Alive Sustainable Foraging Practices: Wild Vegetables and Herbs Gathered by Afghan Refugees Living in Mansehra District, Pakistan" Sustainability 13, no. 3: 1500. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031500

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