2020 GLOBAL STEPPE SYMPOSIUM:
STEPPES FEED THE WORLD
September 23-24, 2020
DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS’
CENTER FOR GLOBAL INITIATIVES
The impact of steppe regions on the global food system is immeasurable. For thousands of years, the fertile grasslands of the world have been cultivated to grow inconceivable amounts of vegetables and grains and have supported massive populations of grazing pastoral animals. Likewise, the impact of the global food system on the steppes has also been immeasurable, as millions of acres of steppe ecosystems have been converted into monocultural farmlands in order to feed and clothe humans.
Ironically, the steppes are the motherlands of many of the crops that have replaced their diversity. Wheat, barley, apples, quinoa, melons, almonds, carrots, cherries, onions, sunflower, safflower and myriads of others originate in the steppes, which only underscores the vitally important need to explore and preserve the genetic diversity of the wild relatives of our staple crops before they disappear forever.
This symposium brings together scientists, plant lovers, land stewards, agriculturists and artists who live and work in steppes around the world, investigating the complicated and essential relationship between humans, food and steppes.
Wednesday, Sept. 23 – Steppe Research Proceedings
Steppe scientists from around the world present their research exploring the rich topics of steppe history, diversity and conservation in relation to the global food system. Additionally, staff provide onsite tours of horticultural and agriculturally related steppe gardens at Denver Botanic Gardens. An evening reception featuring steppe-inspired music and a movie screening follows the day’s proceedings.
Thursday, Sept. 24 – Impressions of The Steppes
Regional and national steppe experts share their experiences living, working and exploring the steppe regions of the world.