How do we know what is happening with global biocultural diversity, and particularly with the world’s languages and stores of traditional environmental knowledge (TEK)? How do the trends in persistence or loss of languages and TEK compare with the trends in biodiversity? To answer these critical questions, we first developed a global Index of Biocultural Diversity and then the following projects: Index of Linguistic Diversity Vitality Index of Traditional Environmental Knowledge These tools allow for an assessment of the state of biocultural diversity at different scales, from the local to the national to the global. These tools provide critical information for biocultural-friendly policy making and conservation, and can assist local efforts at biocultural revitalization
Through our research, which we initiated through a collaboration with WWF-International and have continued through a partnership with the University of Florida, we have mapped the overlaps in the global distributions of biodiversity and cultural diversity, and have identified “core areas” of biocultural diversity: regions that are highly diverse in both nature and culture.