Biocultural Heritage

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News and blogs

COP27: vital but at-risk IPLC landscapes urgently need more climate finance

Krystyna Swiderska and Alejandro Argumedo
08 Nov 2022

Traditional landscapes conserved by Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) across different ecosystems sustain vital ecosystem services and can deliver large-scale emission reductions. Yet despite being highly vulnerable to climate impacts, IPLCs still receive only a tiny fraction of climate aid. COP27 must provide urgent financial support to IPLC-governed organisations to protect these vital but threatened landscapes.

Establishing a biocultural territory in Kenya

17 Oct 2022

In the run up to the Convention on Biological Diversity COP15, a new podcast explores how a self-governed biocultural heritage territory can protect Kenya's sacred Kaya forests, and provide an effective and equitable alternative to state-run protected areas. It also examines the role of biocultural territories in conserving genetic resources and traditional knowledge for climate adaptation.

Lessons from Indigenous food systems

29 Mar 2022

IIED principal researcher Krystyna Swiderska discussed what can we learn from Indigenous Peoples and their food systems in an online event following the UN Food Systems Summit.

Building resilience through Indigenous food systems

22 Nov 2021

At COP26 in Glasgow, Indigenous Quechua farmers from the Potato Park in Peru and Mijikenda farmers from the Rabai sacred Kaya forest landscape (Kenya) shared their enormous wisdom about resilient crops, farming practices and nutritious foods. Watch a full recording of the event.

Biocultural Heritage is entrenched in Mexican law

08 Dec 2020

On 2nd of December, the Mexican Parliament voted unanimously to include the protection of biocultural heritage and promotion of agroecology in Mexico’s Law on Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection.

Resilient food systems and COVID-19: lessons for a Just Transition

Krystyna Swiderska
22 May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed huge vulnerabilities and inequalities in food systems. They are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change: to droughts, floods, typhoons, sea-level rise – the current locust outbreak in East Africa. But they are also part of the problem, contributing about one third of global greenhouse gas emissions and being highly inequitable too. Krystyna Swiderska spells out what needs to change.

Protecting indigenous cultures is crucial for saving the world’s biodiversity

Krystyna Swiderska
18 Feb 2020

2020 is being hailed as a ‘super year’ for nature, with a series of major international events looking at how we can stop the decline of wildlife and natural ecosystems. IIED’s Krystyna Swiderska argues that saving biodiversity can’t succeed without working to save indigenous cultures. 

Biocultural heritage features on environment podcast

23 Aug 2019
Biocultural heritage and indigenous people's capacity for climate adaption were highlighted in the latest Green Heritage Futures podcast, a digital audio programme that focuses on cultural heritage and climate change.