Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook

Biocultural Diversity Sourcebook Cover

Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook

by Luisa Maffi and Ellen Woodley
Earthscan from Routledge, 2010
Published with Terralingua and IUCN
304 pp.


Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook is a unique resource for anyone interested in the theory and practice of the field of biocultural diversity—a holistic approach to understanding the links between nature and culture and the interrelationships between humans and the environment at scales from the global to the local.

Purchase via the publisher.




Based on the emerging realization that protecting and restoring biodiversity and maintaining and revitalizing cultural diversity and cultural vitality are intimately, indeed inextricably, interrelated, the book makes the case for an integrated biocultural approach to sustaining biodiversity and human cultures.

The core of the book is a review and analysis of 45 projects from all over the world that exemplify this new approach to conservation. In a diversity of ways, each project recognizes the fundamental links between local languages, ecological knowledge, cultural practices, and biodiversity and applies this recognition to the design of sustainable solutions to environmental and social problems.

Drawing from the projects, the book examines the factors that foster or threaten the integrated conservation of biological and cultural diversity and offers lessons learned and recommendations for how to further develop and strengthen a biocultural approach to conservation.

Biocultural Diversity Conservation is a comprehensive source of information for students, researchers, professionals, policy makers, international agencies, NGOs, and community organizations. It has been used as a textbook as well as a source of inspiration for advocacy and on-the-ground projects.

Terralingua’s Sourcebook project was funded by The Christensen Fund, whose support is gratefully acknowledged.



“This book represents a culmination of the already extensive contributions that the authors have made… From presenting the conceptual issues in a solid but accessible manner, to researching examples of biocultural practices worldwide, to extracting lessons that others can benefit from, their work is filling a critical gap of knowledge and policy.” —Gonzalo Oviedo, Senior Advisor on Social Policy, IUCN

“This book is a treasure trove of the many approaches that have been taken by the world’s diverse cultures to maintain the biological systems upon which they depend. This invaluable resource will certainly find great utility in all parts of the world and among many disciplines.” —Jeffrey A. McNeely, Senior Science Advisor, IUCN

“This book will truly make a difference in the world. It represents a key milestone in our global understanding of the profound and inextricable links between cultural and biological diversity. Written by two of the leading lights in this new and growing field, it is filled with important information, case studies and analyses on a global scale.”  —Nancy J. Turner, Professor, University of Victoria, Canada