Biocultural Heritage

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New film reports on Mountain Agriculture Policy Dialogue

24 May 2017

TV news reports on the Policy Dialogue organised by IIED and Lok Chetna Manch in West Bengal, India

Kalimpong TV News featured an in-depth report about the Mountain Agriculture Policy Dialogue held in West Bengal on 6-7 May

The event was organised as part of the five-year Smallholder Innovation for Resilience (SIFOR) project, which aims to strengthen biocultural innovation for food security in India, China, Peru and Kenya.

The TV news film, which is in Nepali, shows senior biodiversity and agriculture policymakers from West Bengal, Uttarankhand, Nagaland and other mountain states in northern India arriving at Lingsey community, a SIFOR project site.

The delegates visited the Bean Park, a biocultural heritage territory of 1,000 hectares that is being established by Lepcha and Limbu communities to conserve the agrobiodiversity of the area. The community conserves more than 30 bean landraces (including some varieties of local origin), as well as unique dryland rice varieties. These varieties have largely been lost, but are becoming increasingly important in the face of climate change.

The policy dialogue brought together participants from Kenya, Peru and China to discuss biocultural innovations for climate resilience. Indian policymakers were impressed by presentations about Peru's Potato Park, participatory plant breeding in China and cultural tourism in Kenya, and identified concrete steps to better support similar traditional knowledge-based innovations in India.

The chairs of the State Biodiversity Boards of West Bengal and Uttarankand pledged to support efforts to gain formal reco