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

Representatives of mountain communities in five countries have called for support to help them maintain traditional ways of protecting their landscapes and natural resources in the face of climate change.

As half of the world's population relies on mountains for their water, 18 indigenous mountain communities call for support to strengthen traditional natural resource management systems.

Stockholm Resilience Centre speaks to Pernilla Malmer about a "walking workshop" of the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples (INMIP) in Tajikistan, September 2015, and the importance of knowledge exchange for revitalising communities' biocultural heritage and developing tools for sustainable development in the face of climate change. 

TWN Info Service on Intellectual Property and Agriculture
4 March 2016

Zhu Zhenyan (Third World Network) describes important aspects of the final revision.

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.