Policy Brief Urges Recognition of Culture in Biodiversity Conservation

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  • 2022•12•08     Tokyo

    A new UNU-IAS policy brief calls for recognising and supporting local cultures that create biodiversity benefits through sustainable human–nature relationships. Drawing on the experiences of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS), it provides recommendations for sustainable land-use management policies that are inclusive, equitable, and incorporate traditional knowledge. The brief, Recognising and Supporting the Role of Culture in Effective Area-based Conservation, is authored by William Dunbar, Suneetha M. Subramanian, and Makiko Yanagiya.



    Other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) can achieve positive biodiversity outcomes in a larger area than is covered by protected areas. But this requires OECMs to be better integrated into sustainable production systems in conjunction with protected areas. Good examples of productive social-ecological systems exist. Recognising potential OECMs requires recognising the cultures that make them possible.


    • Fully recognise and support the role of culture in fostering interlinked human–nature relationships and nurturing biodiversity in production landscapes and seascapes.
    • Develop sustainable market mechanisms using landscape approaches that promote respect for local cultures and the rights of all stakeholders.
    • Apply good practices for empowering cultures to enhance long-term biodiversity outcomes.
    • Provide innovative incentives including capacity development to encourage local communities to manage their landscapes and seascapes for biodiversity conservation.

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    Read more UNU-IAS Policy Briefs for the latest analysis and recommendations on solving sustainability challenges.