Manifesto fur Biocultural Diversity

By the wey o the 2019 Unitit Nations report anent biodiversity, the warld will tine a million speshies upo the neist yeirs. Wi that same, it is acknawledged that the douncome o biological diversity thrings cultur an leid diversity direck-like, as declared by UNESCO. Thir days, a third o the warld’s leids haes fewer nor 1,000 speakers left, an a feck o thae leids is spaed tae disappear by the neist yeirhunner. Cultur is conneckit wi an influenced by hamelt relationships aqueish fowk an the environs. This is the springheid fur varit vailyies, knawledge an pratticks sib tae biodiversity (in a variety o life forms includin genes, speshies, ecosystems). Wi that same, biodiversity conservation is expressed uisin wirds an vocables throu the social genes o cultur.

In this manifesto, we recognize that biodiversity an cultural diversity is sib an interconneckit by heid an horn. By the wey o recent resairch, biocultural diversity is dwinin signeeficantly atouer the globe – awbesit several nations haes implement laws an strategies fur the protection o existin biodiversity. We, the unnersigned, conseider this a cause wirthy o clear action. We forby state that there is necessity tae ack afore a correlate loss o leids an cultural diversity atouer the globe.

The follaein manifesto is a attemp at shawin the weys in whilk we mak thir connections concrete, an forder weys in whilk we can positively inpit fur tae hain the complexity o communities aw aboot us. The ettle is tae advance taewart a sustainable futur, a warld whaur mony universes co-exist. Fur this, we wad like tae address the systemic connections aqueish the global an local scales o biocultural diversity loss.

Cultural pratticks an knawledge seestems, that’s transmit throu language an linguistic cultures, impacks (positive or negative) wir approaches tae preservation o the Yird’s resources an o wir biodiversity. It’s fur that that we will maun transform cultural pratticks an develop a leid o sustainability an coexistence that haes a chance o positive eftercomes.

Economy an the Environs

Jock Tamson’s bairns an natur is interconneckit, jist as us humans is aw Jock Tamson’s bairns. Unnerstaunin the interconneckitness o natur an society is creetical tae dealin wi a chyngin warld, adappin tae it an managin fur resilience. The current economic seestem is a extraction seestem that disnae envision an end tae wir resources. The accumulative eftercomes o this extractionism affecks biocultural diversity. Mairower, it gainsays seein wirsels as speshies an pairt o the ecosystem.

Governments, public an private entities an the hail society maun be accoontable fur thair actions, transparent anent thair pratticks an switch tae new visions an positive strategies. Thay maun tak tent o the materiality o naitral resoorces, the meanins an narratives o thir materials fur different culturs. Fur tae aunser this speceefic challenge, we propone:

  • The creaution o a label relatit tae throu-pit fur cultural diversity an biodiversity (fur ensample, comparin hamelt an haint land connections in relation tae monocultures, or diversity o fowk’s culturs an backgrunds in companies or ither organisations).
  • The creaution o speceific template programmes fur organisations tae become labelt, efter practical actions in terms o hainin biodiversity an cultural diversity.
  • The formalisation o a braid definition o biocultural diversity an a quantitative index thareanent (upbiggin on existin indexes like Entropy, the Shannon Index, the Simpson Index an the Berger-Parker index amang ithers).
  • The forderin o research anent the redistribution an cost o biocultural preservation intae the price o final producks (cultural producks, commodities, fuid, etc).
  • The developent o public policies fur the hainin o stakehouders’ cultural ootluiks in a sustainable economic negotiation. This is fur tae mak siccar that nae ecosystem is left athoot a representative cultur.
  • The incentivisation o private an public organisations fur tae adop the UN’s Sustainable Development Ettles relatit tae biocultural diversity.
  • The explore o the viability o hou biosystem impack, redistribution, governance an taxation could be sinkit intae new crypto-siller.
  • The forderin an contreebution tae research an documentation o global initiatives anent biocultural diversity. This is fur tae can replicate pratticks in ither places.
  • The creaution o concrete actions o sustainable relations an dialogue in local environs.

Eddication an Awaurness

In wir modren societies, there is a peremptor need tae foster the unnerstaunin, awaurness an creetical reflection o the interplay aqueish cultur an leid relatit tae diversity. In this sense, eddication is key tae reakin athort generations. Eddication as a structural an social process sudnae be unnerstuid as a vertical operation (‘knawledge houders’ vs. ‘knawledge demanders’), but as a horizontal an skared cawin aboot o pratticks an knawledge, includin lika individual an group, regairdless o thair situation in society. By wir unnerstaunin, eddication is a means o skarin pratticks an knawledge in a collaborative an transcontextual ethical approach. In this ootluik, aince acressin an ay the mair acressin awaurness o diversity by means o eddication is peremptor. This is acause it needs tae be unnerstuid as a guid that is pairt o ilka citizen’s eddication.

Eddication is forby tae be conneckit tae the notion o transmission, inspecially the transmission o diverse pratticks an knawledge awready existin athin different cultural an social groups, includin indigenous fowk – an no jist leemitit tae scholars, teachers or fowk that is perceived as leasome by seestems o accreditation an acknawledgement. Fae this ootluik, wider awaurness o biological, cultural an linguistic diversity insnorls several different stakehouders. The main conceps addressed by eddication an awaurness o biocultural diversity is the follaein, ruitit in a balanced approach:

  • Diversity – whether that be biological, cultural, linguistic – sud be introduced intae the curriculum fur tae foster diversity in its complex reality, mixin anthropology, agricultur, ecology, environs studies an social studies.
  • It is key tae address bairns as weel as adults an aw kinds o groups wi eddication methods adappit tae the reality an the needs o ilka population regairdin the uphaud o biocultural diversity.
  • In this regaird, it is forby clamant that we develop new programmes, curricula an course content conceived an apponed in a pairtisay wark, throu a variety o methods, tuils, approaches an contents.
  • Alternative learnin methods is tae be fostert: immersive experiences, mutual veesits, warkshaps, gemmes, sustainable technology that maun be ethically uised athin a environs-centert approach.
  • Regairdin learnin environs, scuils an eddication spaces sud be designed accordin tae sustainability needs an refleckin local biocultural diversity. The process o learnin sud forby tak place ootwi scuil an ither eddicational spaces, whaur possible. This sud allou fur experiences relatit tae biodiversity an cultur tae happen in a environment that proffers concrete experiences that sud be learnt, haint, conserved, uphauden an developpit faurer.
  • External stakehouders maun be invitit tae contreebute tae eddicational an awaurness programmes, philosophies an realities o learnin an awaurness.
  • As hue is gey an important fur the forderin an transmission o ideas regairdin biocultural diversity, ideas an conceps based on interactive technologies sud be uphauden fur the creaution o inspirational artwark or fur tae aliment research.
  • Eddication is here tae be conceived as a means tae foster, mainteen an disseminate the idea o diversity as a guid, necessar tae engage wi fur tae hain an uphaud.
  • Eddication equally conseests o learnin weys tae skare agency an carin. In this wey, it is awaurness o the inherent systemic complexity an interconnective naitur o diversity, an kennin anent the representations an views o the warld that circulate athin societies.
  • A respeckfu balance aqueish eddication an transmission needs forby the analysis an quaistenin o meanin in the braid sense o the wird: this can be reakit throu the study o biases, archetypes, symbols, representations an stereotypes.
  • Anither important pynt conseests o the study an dissemination o conceps o balance an homeostasis, fur tae unnerstaun an conceptualise the link aqueish human societies an thair environs.


The first version o this manifesto wis the eftercast o a collaborative writin “sprent” organised in explore space at the Austrian Academy o Sciences on the 23-24t o October 2019 in Vienna. It reflecks the communins, greeances, views an ootluiks that emerged upo a content co-creaution process by a diverse group o fowk wha engaged in the first version o this document. We met an wirkit thegither ower twa day skarin complementary knawledge frae the fields o biology, linguistics, humanities, sustainability, sociology, design an computer sciences. As participants, we were representin different institutions as academic researchers, practitioners an cultural activists wi springheids in Austrich, Brazil, El Salvador, Fraunce, Germany, Indie, Mexico, Portingal, Spaingie and Swaiden. We refleck here the eftercasts o the manifesto sprint alang wi a seicont stage o online writin that follaed the sprent: a collaboration appen tae mair participants.