Abstract and Keywords
The term “biocultural diversity” describes the idea that the diversity of life on earth is comprised not only of biodiversity but also of cultural and linguistic diversity, all of which are interrelated (and possibly coevolved) within a complex socioecological adaptive system. This chapter presents the history and foundations of this concept and of the field of research and practice it has spawned, and discusses how they are helping bridge the nature-culture conservation gap. After reviewing the interrelated environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic factors that are leading to biocultural diversity loss worldwide, the chapter examines the nature and goals of integrative biocultural diversity conservation and the challenges and opportunities that this approach faces. This is illustrated with examples of on-the-ground biocultural conservation projects from different parts of the world. Concluding remarks point to further steps to be taken to protect diversity in nature and culture for an ecologically and culturally sustainable future.
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