Eleventh International Congress of Ethnobiology: Local Livelihoods and Collective Biocultural Heritage
Asociacion ANDES
25 June – 30 June 2008 (Cusco, Peru)

More than five hundred representatives of local communities, indigenous peoples and scholars met in Cusco in June 2008 under the auspices of the International Society of Ethnobiology to review common concerns twenty years after the First International Congress of Ethnobiology and its 1988 Declaration of Belem. The meeting found that biocultural diversity is in a state of deepening crisis, with negative trends including disappearing ecosystems, species extinctions, and cultural disruption and destruction. Despite these interrelated crises, the meeting noted that emergent trends of cultural and biological resilience, resurgence and re-diversification give reason to hope for creative solutions. The need was emphasised for these efforts to be led by Indigenous Peoples, traditional societies and local communities.

The United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies Traditional Knowledge Initiative (UNU-IAS TKI) co-chaired a session on Indigenous People, Climate Change and Adaption. This session was held over two days and explored climate change impacts and implications for indigenous and traditional communities, as well as their unique adaption strategies, particularly crop adaptation and adaptation to marginal areas and ecosystem boundaries.

Session topics included:

  • protecting ecosystem buffers that provide livelihoods, sacred spaces and pathways for indigenous peoples and local communities;
  • the role of collective cultural heritage in maintaining and strengthening the resilience of healthy ecosystems;
  • building bridges among indigenous people, scientists and policymakers to develop adaptation strategies; and
  • incorporating biocultural diversity in the international climate change fora.

Read the ICE meeting report…
Download the draft recommendations from Indigenous People, Climate Change and Adaptation session [pdf]…