Biocultural diversity (BCD), that is the diversity of life in all its manifestations, is declining at an unprecedented speed. Alarmingly, this loss goes hand in hand with many biophysical and socio- economic changes that are unsustainable, and there is an urgent need to understand and promote transformative pathways towards sustainability. While previous studies on biocultural diversity have mainly focused on the inventory and conservation of existing diversity, this project will assess how BCD is linked to indicators of sustainability and how it can contribute to more sustainable futures.
To that end, we will first review the existing literature on the topic and reflect on the concept and its links with sustainability. Second, we will empirically assess how BCD is linked to indicators of sustainability in a case study in Bolivia and which governance mechanisms it benefits from. This will be realized through inter- and transdisciplinary research that takes into account aspects related to environmental justice, wellbeing and gender in the case study area. Third, we will assess how BCD can contribute to sustainability in other farming landscapes of the Global South through a set of stakeholder workshops. The project will generate a holistic understanding of how biocultural diversity can contribute to sustainability. The findings of the study will be widely communicated to local communities, academia and national and international stakeholders.
Fundacion Tierra, Bolivia; Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Germany; Bioversity International
Project duration: 5 years (June 2019- May 2024)
Funding: funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
Dr. Jan Hanspach (Leuphana University of Lüneburg)