Projects

This page showcases an extensive gallery of biocultural diversity conservation projects from all over the world: projects that take an integrative and synergistic approach to conserving nature and strengthening and revitalizing local cultures and languages. It is a “living resource” for everyone interested in biocultural diversity.

The first 45 projects come from our book Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook. We identified these projects through a worldwide survey, and described and analyzed them in the book. Here, you’ll find the project descriptions, in the words of the people who contributed them.

Promoting Cultural and Biological Diversity: An Educational Program for Rural Communities in Peru

Project Contributor: Jorge Ishizawa with Grimaldo Rengifo Teaching the children in the Upper Amazon region of Peru Credit: Jorge Ishizawa The Peruvian Andes are recognized as a major site of biological diversity in the world. The Andes have 82 of the planet’s 103 life zones, that is, 80% of the ecoclimatic zones existing

Protecting Territories and Biodiversity: Indigenous Capacity Building in Ecuador

Project Contributor: Joao de Queiroz A high level of community participation and capacity building in the development of resource management plans helps foster biodiversity conservation on indigenous lands in Ecuador Credit: Joao de Queiroz Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park comprises almost one million hectares of exceptional biological diversity and includes species such as the

Tools for Biocultural Diversity Conservation: Community Mapping of Indigenous Peoples’ Traditional Lands in Venezuela

Project Contributor: Stanford Zent Hotï people drying cane for blowguns Credit: Stanford Zent In 1999, the national constitution of Venezuela gave explicit recognition to the land rights and cultural rights of the country’s indigenous peoples. Following passage of the new constitution and subsequent demarcation laws, several indigenous groups began taking the initiative to

Tejedores de Vida: Revitalizing Indigenous Identity and Nature-Based Knowledge in a Muisca community, Colombia

Project Contributors: Gabriel Nemogá with Carlos Mamanché The Muisca people, living at altitudes between 1200 and 3200m above sea level in the valleys of the central region of the Andean mountains in the northeast part of South America (the savannah of Bogotá, Colombia) were so named by the Spanish conquerors. The Muisca people’s existence was

Reviving Traditional Seed Exchange and Cultural Knowledge in Rural Costa Rica

Project Contributor: Felipe Montoya Greenheck In Costa Rica, agrobiodiversity has been lost because of market pressures on agricultural production. The demand for high-volume, standardized production has been a disincentive for the continued cultivation of low-yield traditional seeds, even though the traditional varieties have for generations been selected for their higher nutritional value and their adaptations

Strengthening Indigenous Cultural Heritage through Capacity Building in Costa Rica

Project Contributors: Hugh Govan with Rigoberto Carrera There are eight indigenous groups in Costa Rica, numbering some 63,800 people, which comprise 1.7% of the national population. Half of them are now settled in 24 reservations or territories, which cover an area of approximately 325,470ha or 6.3% of Costa Rica. The indigenous groups are: the Cabécar,

Recovering Landscape Health and Cultural Resilience in the Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico

Luís and Tomás Palma gathering native pine seeds for a tree nursery in their Sierra Tarahumara community Credit: David J. Rapport The Rarámuri people (also known as Tarahumara by non-Rarámuri) are an indigenous group living in the Sierra Tarahumara, a part of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range in the northern Mexican state

Worlds of Difference: Local Culture in a Global Age

Project Contributor: Jonathan Miller Peruvian biologist María Scurrah learning the names of traditional potato varieties from a farmer in Quilcas, Junín Department, Peru. Credit: Jonathan Miller Homeland Productions (http://homelands.org) is an independent, non-profit journalism cooperative in Tucson, Arizona, USA, specializing in radio documentaries. Its mission is to illuminate complex issues through compelling broadcasts,

Strengthening Culture and Conservation Through Intangible Heritage and Performing Arts: The “Dance for the Earth and for Her Peoples” Initiative

Project Contributor: Robert Wild A dance of the Bambuti Community of Semliki Forest, Western Uganda. Credit: Robert Wild The concept for the “Dance for the Earth and for Her Peoples” initiative originated at the 2003 World Parks Congress and has been taken forward by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and

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