Biocultural Heritage

Promoting resilient farming systems and local economies

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Farmers sharing potatoes in the Potato Park, Peru

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

A film documenting an international meeting of indigenous farmers in Peru's Potato Park to discuss adaptation to climate change is now available in Spanish and Chinese.

International research organisations are stressing the need for climate agreements to support traditional farming, given its role in both adaptation and mitigation.

Read more including slides and audio on Geoff Tansey blog

In December 2014, a learning exchange was held in the Potato Park for SIFOR farmers from Kenya and India.View the photos on Flickr

In this short film, smallholder farmers from India, Kenya and Peru explain the challenges they face due to climate change, and how they are responding.

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.