Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge: How can they be protected?
Claudio Chiarolla, Renaud Lapeyre
IDDRI Policy Brief no 13/2013

This brief summarizes the proceedings of the international conference organized on 7 June 2013 in Paris, France, by the Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès and IDDRI, in collaboration with the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, the aim of the conference was to examine efforts to protect biocultural heritage and traditional knowledge (TK) associated with biodiversity. Its objective was to provide a critical assessment of the legal and economic tools that can be used to improve the potential contribution of biocultural diversity and TK to the livelihoods of local communities and to biodiversity conservation. It was indicated that conceptual models based on multidisciplinary approaches are the most appropriate to understand biodiversity values, particularly from a public good perspective. Overall, the need was stressed to undertake further work on the factors that contribute to the erosion of biocultural diversity; and focus attention on social movements and indigenous peoples’ claims, since in most cases ILCs have developed innovative tools, such as farmers’ initiatives based  on agro-ecology and dynamic management of biodiversity in the field. ILCs’ fight for the recognition of their land rights is thus crucially important, while recognizing that such communities’ knowledge is heavily affected by climate change in terms of species’ disappearance and by the lack of access to natural resources. Finally, promoting policies to ensure democratic stability and economic development relies on our capacity to preserve and sustainably use biodiversity. Read the brief …