International Congress of Ethnobiology: Cusco, June 2008

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11th International Congress of Ethnobiology
Cusco, Peru 25-30 June 2008

Livelihoods and Collective Biocultural Heritage

The 11th International Congress of Ethnobiology will be held in the context of the United Nation’s International Year of the Potato, a Peruvian native crop which epitomizes the close links between cultural and biological diversity in the Andes. The aim of this Congress is to stimulate awareness, discussion and debate on the state of knowledge and practice around biological and cultural diversity by providing a forum to share information and examples from a variety of regional and national settings.


The key objective of the Congress is to reinforce the role of indigenous peoples and local communities in managing their collective biocultural heritage and strengthen traditional resource rights and livelihoods.

Other more specific objectives include the following:

1.To facilitate an instructive dialogue among ISE members, indigenous peoples and local communities on issues of common concern such as strengthening collaborative research strategies and methodologies that contribute to the development of solutions related to their rights and livelihoods

2.Promote dialogue and integration across knowledge systems and disciplines and move towards a holistic understanding of links between cultural and biological diversity and the responsibilities to cultures, the environment and social justice (including identifying appropriate spectrum of indicators or measures).

3.Review the challenges in integrating and promoting a focused treatment of cultural and biological diversity with the management of cultural landscapes for conservation and sustainable use of land, water, genetic and biological diversity through participatory approaches that support sustainable development, equity and cultural resilience.

4.Identify how to promote a more focused treatment of culture and different knowledge systems in fields such as agrobiodiversity conservation, health, and preservation and protection of indigenous and traditional knowledge.

5.Generate outcomes relevant to major international bodies and institutions concerned with biodiversity and indigenous/traditional knowledge, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), FAO, WIPO, WHO and the “Future of Sustainability” process being conducted by IUCN – The World Conservation Union in the lead-up to the 2008 World Conservation Congress.

6.Link outcomes to other relevant activities, such as the Fourth World Conservation Congress (Barcelona, Spain, October 2008 and others, by means of specifically targeted outputs and recommendations.

7.Conduct outreach before, during, and after the event to inform and educate academics, students, practitioners, policy makers, and the general public.



Theme of the Congress

The overarching theme of the Congress is Local Livelihoods and Collective Bio-cultural Heritage”. Taken as a whole, the theme forms an overall conceptual framework for the interactions between nature and culture as well as allows focus on the role of Ethnobiology in maintaining biocultural diversity and ensuring rights and equity through participatory research approaches.

In order to provide a guiding structure to the Congress, as well as achieve the proposed objectives, we will be focusing attention on specific issues through three themes:

Theme 1: Traditional agricultural landscapes and community conserved areas
Theme 2: Ethnoecology, Climate Change and Adaptation
Theme 3: Ethnobiology and Traditional Resource Rights: Darrell Posey’s Legacy

Special Session: Food Sovereignty and Centers of Origin: Celebrating the International Year of the Potato
Pre Congress Workshop: Malaria and the Health and Well-being of Indigenous Peoples
Pre Congress Workshop: Participatory Video

The selected themes should be understood as a way of operationalizing the objectives of the Congress and making them more concrete. While closely related, as well as overlapping, the themes are, at the same time, focusing on issues that are distinct enough to warrant separate treatment.

+ The Congress Symbol

The Congress’ symbol will be “Ayni” or Sacred Reciprocity. This is the Mother of all Andean thoughts and the one law of the Andean Mystical Tradition still often witnessed today. It roughly means: If you give you will receive and if you receive you must give back. This is a way of life founded by the Incas which applies to all expression of creation and upon which one’s very survival depends.

Under this matrix indigenous concepts of landscapes, health and knowledge, themes of the Congress, are expressed.


7 thoughts on “International Congress of Ethnobiology: Cusco, June 2008

    Travelling in Peru: Lima, the first steps.. « colonos said:
    Monday, March 17, 2008 at 14:27 (644)

    […] Colonos are on the road, doing field work, research, networking with people and helping to organise a conference. […]

    gluesniffer said:
    Friday, March 21, 2008 at 21:27 (935)

    I have a pretty annoying and dumb question. You know slash-and-burn and the claims about global climate change… Well I was wondering if there is anything documented about indigenous fire ecology? Like there are a lot of reports about agroforestry but what is the deal with the slash and burn?

    Dr. Admasu Tsegaye said:
    Monday, March 31, 2008 at 14:40 (652)

    I am a researcher on indigenous knowledge and practices at Hawassa University in the southern parts of Ethiopia. I wish to attend the congress if I get financial assistance to cover my travel expenses such as flight cost, accommodation and daily allowances.

    Dr. Tadesse Kippie said:
    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 11:05 (503)

    I am a researcher on ensete-based Gedeo land use systems of southern Ethiopia. I currently lecture at the the University of Dilla, southern Ethiopian Rift valley. I am highly interested in the theme of the congress and I awant to share my experiences by presenting a paper. But, I need financial asistance towards covering costs such as of air ticket, accomodation and daily allowances.

    Dr. Metasebia Bekele said:
    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 03:18 (179)

    I am a researcher on sacred sites indigenous knowledge. Currently I am executive director, Association for Research and conservation of culture, Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Landscape. It would be of high interest if I can participate in this conference. But I need a financial assistance to cover t both air and ground transport expenses, accomodation and daily allowances.

    colono responded:
    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 16:28 (728)

    Hi – Sorry for slow response, been on the road – the post above is just copied and pasted from the conference web site. You have to use the contact details of the website to get in touch with the people organising it – however, it is now past the deadline for submission of abstracts!!

    liberty reserve said:
    Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 07:12 (342)

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