Biocultural Heritage

Promoting resilient farming systems and local economies

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News and blogs

A new briefing examines the importance of biocultural heritage territories, whose communities are custodians of biodiversity.

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.

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 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.
Ahead of an intergovernmental forum on biodiversity and food security, the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples has published a report highlighting the importance of biodiversity and indigenous knowledge for climate adaptation.
This short film provides a glimpse into a 4-day horizontal learning exchange which took place in the Potato Park Peru in April 2017, bringing together representatives of indigenous mountain communities from 11 countries.
Reetu Sogani describes the special bond between women in India and the country’s natural resources – a connection that positions them as key preservers and managers of biodiversity. Despite this, women’s voices often go unheard in policies intended to support biodiversity conservation.

Joji Cariño sets out three key principles that could underpin a new biodiversity deal where humans and nature work in harmony – and explains why indigenous peoples and local communities will be key in shaping this deal.

Traditional crops and innovations are offering farmers in the Himalayan region a way to deal with the challenges of climate change, but there is much work to be done for this to become a truly viable alternative.

In the latest in blog in the 'Women champions of biodiversity' series, Krystyna Swiderska discusses how women are sustaining biodiverse farming by combining traditional knowledge and innovation to protect local seed systems.

New biocultural heritage landscape will protect rich biodiversity and cultural identities of Indigenous communities.

The story of a spiritual journey made by Quechua farmers bringing their cherished potato seeds from the Potato Park, in the high Andes of Peru, to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on a remote island halfway between Norway and the North Pole, has been documented in a film.

The International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples has called for support and legal protection for biocultural heritage landscapes and community conserved areas following an event in Peru.

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

A new film tells stories from inhabitants of the Stone Village in China, home to 220 Naxi ethnic families and a living example of the value of conserving biocultural heritage. 

The film “The Making of Rotational Farming” shows the extraordinary diversity of food produced by just one community

Our survey found broad support for a labelling scheme for biocultural heritage-based products. Now we need to get a pilot project off the ground.

New research shows how indigenous communities are fine-tuning traditional knowledge to mitigate the risks of climate change.
A stunning photofilm profiling biocultural heritage territories in Peru, China and India is now available in Spanish.
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.