Conserving Biocultural Diversity

All over the world, scores of people are rising to the challenge of stemming the loss of biocultural diversity and restoring the biocultural web of life. From Indigenous Peoples and local communities striving to safeguard their languages, cultures, and lands, to the many committed others who are working to sustain biocultural diversity at local, regional, and global levels, there are countless efforts underway to stop and reverse biocultural diversity loss.

But these efforts are often isolated from one another — separate dots, so to speak, on the global map of biocultural diversity conservation. In isolation, one effort can’t learn from the others, and collectively we can’t learn from them. Without “connecting the dots,” it’s also impossible to increase the visibility of all these efforts and to leverage the full potential of this emerging biocultural conservation movement.

biocultural diversity
Credit: João Queiroz

“Connecting the dots” was the motivation behind Terralingua’s Global Sourcebook on Biocultural Diversity project, which led to the publication of our book Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook. We gathered and analyzed 45 projects from all over the world that recognize the fundamental link between local languages, ecological knowledge, cultural practices, and biodiversity, and apply this recognition to the design of integrative biocultural conservation solutions.

The full analysis, lessons learned, and recommendations are contained in the book. Here, we created a portal to showcase the 45 projects from the Sourcebook and others we have added since. You can access the portal by clicking on the button below and peruse the project descriptions for an illuminating “world tour” of on-the-ground biocultural diversity conservation.

Here, you can also peruse other relevant resources. You can watch the video of a National Geographic interview about the Sourcebook, find out about the complementary books Ethnobotany and Conservation of Biocultural Diversity and Safeguarding the Uniqueness of the Colorado Plateau, and download Biocultural Approaches to Conservation and Development (Vol. 5 of our 5-volume digital primer, the Biocultural Diversity Toolkit) and the WWF-Terralingua report Indigenous and Traditional Peoples of the World and Ecoregion Conservation.

Whether you are a researcher, student, professional, policy maker, activist, community member, or concerned individual in any other capacity, you will find plenty of food for thought and action about biocultural diversity conservation!