Biological and Cultural Diversity: The challenge of local knowledge, practice and worldviews

Paris, France 27 January 2005

Much of the world's biodiversity is created, maintained and managed by local communities, with language, knowledge, know-how and worldview serving as both tools and conceptual frame. These interactions, tying societies and social actors to biodiversity, can only be comprehended through a holistic and interdisciplinary approach.

Today, local knowledge has gained broad recognition in the international arena, and numerous partners are making an effort to integrate scientific and local knowledge. Given existing relations of power, is such an approach likely to provide benefits equally to all partners? For indigenous peoples, as for farmers in France, biodiversity management sets the stage for an interaction and negotiation between resource managers, scientists, developers and local resource users and producers. These conditions, which lead to the emergence of new and composite sets of knowledge and know-how, will be addressed during workshop presentations and debates. When new norms are adopted and set into place, does this contribute to a disruption or revitalization of the representations and worldviews of local social groups?

The primary objectives of this workshop will be to draw attention to:

- advances made towards consolidating the role of local and indigenous knowledge in biodiversity conservation;

- major challenges remaining to ensure that article 8(j) of the Convention on Biological Diversity has a meaningful and enduring impact.

Organized by LINKS-UNESCO and CNRS
(Download the Programme | Papers | CVs of the presenters )

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