Category Archives: On Biocultural Diversity

Enset: The Miracle Crop of Ethiopia

Enset, the Ethiopian or False Banana, is a locally domesticated staple food crop that grows in the moist highlands and rift valley escarpments of southwestern Ethiopia. Enset plays a core role in the food security of more than 15 million Ethiopians and given its high productivity and ability to stabilize and enhance vulnerable soils, many […]

Landscapes: Peoples and Patches of Variation

Human interactions with the landscape are always biocultural.
What people choose to do within their landscapes is structured through the cultural sensibilities that those people bring to and derive from their encounter with that landscape – their beliefs, their values, their goals, their ethics, their tools, and their experiences and interpretations of them.
And those cultural sensibilities […]

Listening and Learning with the People of the Land

By Jeffrey Campbell, Director of Grantmaking
When Shagre Shano Shale speaks about climate change at international conferences and global meetings, everyone listens. A hush falls on scientists and advocacy groups alike as Shagre, a traditional Indigenous elder and an experienced farmer from the Gamo region of Southern Ethiopia, speaks the unadorned truth, disarming in his honesty […]

BCD 101: Diversity, Knowledge, Resilience

We live on a planet that is rich with languages, music, art; with ways of growing and celebrating food, and ways of tending to and living with Nature. We have genetic and cultural diversity; spiritual and biological diversity; and myriad ways of knowing, believing, living and dying. The emerging field of biocultural diversity encompasses all […]

Coevolution: Guides and Gatherers

A bird-human partnership to hunt honey has co-evolved – a beautiful example of a biocultural interspecies relationship.
By Ken Wilson, Executive Director
There is a bird in Africa called the greater honeyguide that has evolved the ability to guide people to wild bees’ nests in order to share the booty with them. With unique wax-digesting enzymes the […]