Biocultural Heritage

Promoting resilient farming systems and local economies

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About this website

Biocultural Heritage (BCH) refers to the knowledge and practices of indigenous people and their biological resources, from the genetic varieties of crops they develop, to the landscapes they create. As indigenous peoples have adapted to harsh climates over many generations, this heritage is important for food security in the face of climate change.

This website shows how the concept of biocultural heritage can be used to protect the bundle of rights that support indigenous peoples and local communities. It provides tools to protect and promote biocultural heritage, such as community protocols and Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) partnerships. It shares research developed through Protecting Community Rights over Traditional Knowledge and Smallholder Innovation for Resilience. It reviews policies to protect BCH at international and national level.

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Latest news and blogs

26 Aug 2014

These photos document a gathering of indigenous groups from China, Bhutan, and Peru. They met in the spring to discuss climate change and plan a crop exchange program.

First published on August 18, by Adam Kerby in YES! Magazine.

Indigenous people have the solutions to climate change. They should be allowed to speak out at the UN climate talks.

First published on 29 July, by Alejandro Argumedo in Responding to Climate Change (RTCC).

An International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples has been formed in order to exchange seeds and knowledge to achieve food sovereignty and climate change adaptation in mountain environments, and to advocate for community biocultural heritage rights.
In the spirit of the International Year of Family and Peasant Farming, indigenous mountain farmers from China, Bhutan and Peru have agreed to share seeds in an effort to cope with global climate change.

Projects and outputs

A herbalist providing information on medicinal and food plants occurring in Kaya Kinondo

This five-year project (2012-2017) aims to strengthen biocultural innovation for food security in the face of climate change, in China, India, Kenya and Peru.

Indian musicians

This participatory action-research project in China, India, Kenya, Panama and Peru (2004-2009) developed the concept of Collective Biocultural Heritage as its common framework for research.