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Traditional and local knowledge

Traditional and local knowledge refers to the knowledge, innovations, and practices developed by indigenous peoples, and by local communities, over generations. This knowledge is often closely tied to local ecosystems and can provide valuable insights into the biodiversity of an area, as well as the management and conservation of natural resources. 

By providing alternative visions, indigenous peoples are creating transitions towards more equitable and sustainable futures.  However, indigenous knowledge is steadily eroding due to numerous external and internal threats, including the loss of lands and territory, development aggression and militarization, discrimination, and commercial misappropriation. 

This project is designed to combat the threats to the continued practice and transmission of indigenous knowledge, by working at the global, national, and local levels simultaneously and engaging with indigenous peoples’ organisations. 

A woman sits at a table with children to teach them Hmong patterns
Children learn how to make traditional Hmong patterns in Thailand. Photo by IMPECT

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Local artists perform “moomi olee kerkeey kooreenyoo”, a song about the splendor

Conservation through application of traditional practices and indigenous knowledge

Indigenous communities are perhaps the only groups of people in Africa who still maintain their traditional values and culture. Often, their way of life is dictated by their environment and available natural resources, and to live in harmony with nature, they have to develope ways…

Processes promoted in the family

In June 2022, we began the implementation of the Transformative Pathways project, which works to support Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities to lead and scale up conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. These actions will also serve to conserve and protect the natural environments where…
IIFB Indigenous caucus at COP15 in Montreal, Canada.

Indigenous Peoples and the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Agreement

During UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s COP15 meeting in Montreal, December 2022, representatives from Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), UNEP-WCMC, Indigenous Information Network (IIN), The Autonomous Territorial Government of the Wampis Nation (GTANW), Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and IMPECT all participated. Global and local project partners supported…
Fiorella (37) and her daughter Yuliana (9) select the best cedar seeds that they store to reforest the edge of their plots.

“Inside the forest instead of planting, trees are being cut down”.

Fiorella Lopez Manchari is a 37-year-old Yanesha woman who lives in Unión de la Selva, Peru. Fiorella grew up with her grandmother until the age of seven when she had to migrate to Lima to work.   "All my life I have always liked to generate…

Showcase on Indigenous contributions to biodiversity conservation

Transformative Pathways website launches The Transformative Pathways website, launched on the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 2023, is a platform to evidence indigenous peoples and local communities’ work safeguarding biodiversity across the globe. The website is a repository of information to ensure that…

Conservation of Mt. Elgon forest

Mt. Elgon forest has continued to suffer degradation despite efforts to protect its resources by different actors. Charcoal burning, uncontrolled harvesting of bamboos and other forest products are key drivers of deforestation. Government’s approach to conservation using the Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement scheme (PELIS)…

Further info

Dominant values and worldviews lead the youth away from indigenous knowledge that has traditionally been linked to the land and its resources and passed down by the elders to the new generations. Some elders themselves are reluctant to pass on their knowledge, surrendering to the idea of formal education as the single path towards paid employment and family support. These underlying causes endanger the continued practice and transmission of indigenous knowledge.  

This project is designed to combat this, by working at the global, national, and local levels simultaneously and engaging with indigenous peoples’ organisations to impact both the structures of biodiversity planning and monitoring, to introduce improved local knowledge and monitoring data into the monitoring of success, and to support local processes of knowledge valuing, transmission and retention. 

There is a need to develop the capacity of the target groups to strengthen indigenous wisdom and to promote and transmit this so that indigenous peoples’ contributions to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use are appreciated and recognized.  

The barriers to better recognition and support for indigenous peoples’ cultures, knowledges, and land and resource management systems are varied and nationally specific and will be addressed through nationally designed programmes of work. 

Indigenous youth dancing at a festival in Peru
Students dance at Nugkui festival in Boca Chinganaza, Peru. Photo by Evaristo Pujupat/GTANW