Island Biocultural Diversity Initiative for Strengthening Biocultural Diversity and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Asia-Pacific Island Regions

Through this workshop, we will discuss that the IUCN shall establish and support a program designed to launch the “Island Biocultural Diversity Initiative” (provisional name). This initiative, which shall be led by specialists on international conventions pertaining to the conservation of island biocultural diversity including specialists in contemporary cultural researches in island locales that can inform and dialogue with more Science-based researchers, shall be undertaken in conjunction with related organizations.The rapid change wrought to the long-enduring island ecosystem occasioned by the change in fishing grounds caused by climate change and natural disaster (earthquake and tsunami) on island areas, as well as excessive human activities and maritime pollution, can be taken as a sign that the balance between man and nature, a balance which includes ecosystem services from biodiversity and landscape diversity to cultural diversity, has declined. Bioculture means combination of biodiversity and cultural diversity. Biocultural diversity has emerged as part of the dynamic process created by the interactions between biodiversity, cultural diversity and traditional knowledge amidst complex ecosystems. The ecological knowledge has been diffused beyond adjacent areas to reach the national level. The suggestions made in this initiative are designed to foster discussions about the development of biocultural diversity and the ecocultural characteristics of a maintenance mechanism based on the ecological knowledge needed to use the biodiversity in island area whose ecosystems have been weakened by climate change and the development process. At the same time, by organizing a cooperative network with domestic and international organizations and diffusing the contents of the initiative to the world, it is also designed to suggest an initiative for the 5th WCC that revolves around the establishment of a conservation strategy for the biodiversity in island-coastal areas.

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