Add your Project

Put your project on the map of biocultural diversity conservation, and become an active part of a growing community of practice! You can add your own project to our online gallery of biocultural diversity conservation projects. This collaboration will benefit indigenous and local communities, researchers and practitioners, governmental and non-governmental organizations, international agencies, funders, and others interested in biocultural diversity conservation.

The gallery includes the 45 projects from all continents that are featured in our 2010 book Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook, plus other projects that people have sent us since. The book has had a significant impact on the conservation community, showing the way toward an integrative and synergistic approach to conserving nature and strengthening and revitalizing local cultures and languages. The projects presented on our portal serve as key examples of the value of this approach for both conservation and the resilience of indigenous and local communities.

The goal of this expanding project gallery and of our portal is to give greater visibility and strength to this emerging approach, and to connect people engaged in biocultural diversity conservation into a community of practice. The projects help foster understanding of and appreciation for this approach, and contribute to creating a favorable climate for biocultural diversity conservation.

Projects appropriate for the portal are ones that recognize the links between cultural beliefs and practices, traditional knowledge and innovations, local languages, and biodiversity, and that acknowledge the importance of these links for the conservation, management, and sustainable use of biodiversity and for the resilience of indigenous and local communities.

We especially welcome projects that are initiated and conducted by indigenous and local communities themselves, or that are based on close collaboration and equitable partnership with indigenous and local communities.

To submit your project, first please read the instructions about our project selection criteria found below. After ensuring that your project fits our criteria, download the project submission form found at the bottom of this page.

The form asks you to provide initial information about your project. Please fill out the form and email it to luisa_maffi[at] Once we review the initial information you submit, we’ll contact you for a fuller project description, as well as for any photos or video clips you may want to share. Then we’ll add your project to the gallery. Project submission forms are also available in Portuguese, Spanish, Russian and French by request.

Be assured that, in compiling materials for the project gallery, Terralingua follows established ethical principles of information gathering and dissemination. We will not publish any information without the approval of the project contributor, and we expect that the project contributor will in turn have the approval of all other involved parties to make the relevant information available. This will be an ongoing process throughout our collaboration, and all agreed-upon arrangements will always be open to re-negotiation if new concerns arise on either side.

We look forward to hearing from you with regard to your project and how it is furthering the goals of biocultural diversity conservation! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Terralingua, writing to luisa_maffi[at] And if you know of other people involved in biocultural diversity projects, please do forward this note and the project submission form to them!

Biocultural Diversity Conservation Projects
Selection Criteria

In selecting new examples for our gallery of biocultural diversity conservation projects, we follow three criteria. Ideally, the projects we look for have three main characteristics:

1. Being integrative and synergistic. We are interested in projects that specifically emphasize the integration of biodiversity conservation and the maintenance or revitalization of cultural (including linguistic) diversity, and the synergies between the two. In other words, projects exclusively devoted to one or the other of these two aspects would fall outside the realm of our survey; so would, in principle, projects of the kind commonly labelled ‘integrated conservation and development’, as they tend to focus on socio-economic development, without significant consideration of the cultural aspects that were a key element in our survey. Rather, the projects we seek recognize the essential connections and interdependence between the environment and local cultural values, beliefs, institutions, knowledge, practices and languages, and build on these linkages to address environmental and social problems in an integrated and synergistic fashion. As an example, a project that would seek to reinforce specific cultural practices that are beneficial for the conservation of local biodiversity – such as traditional prohibitions with respect to the use of certain areas of forest, or customs that result in sustainable harvesting of natural resources – would count as an integrative project according to this criterion. Such a project would also be synergistic to the extent that, in recognizing and valuing cultural practices that help conserve biodiversity, it would provide a greater incentive for using those practices in a purposeful and directed way.

2. Recognizing the importance of intergenerational transmission of local cultural values, beliefs, institutions, knowledge, practices and languages. Ideally, projects suitable for our survey involve active support for the continued intergenerational transmission of cultural traditions and languages, recognized as crucial to sustainable human–environment relationships, rather than focus on documenting threatened or endangered linguistic and cultural heritage for the purpose of salvaging it for posterity. While fully appreciating the value of the latter kind of endeavor, in principle we seek projects that work to ensure the continued vitality and resilience of local cultural values, beliefs, institutions, knowledge, practices and languages by supporting cultural dynamics and institutions that maintain the connection between generations and the flow of information across them.

3. Being endogenous or strongly participatory. Desirable projects for our survey are ones initiated and conducted by indigenous and local communities, or else jointly planned, led and managed by indigenous and local communities and outsiders in a genuinely collaborative manner, with a specific aim to address local needs. Here we draw a distinction vis-à-vis projects that are not fully collaborative with indigenous and local communities: in particular, projects that gather resources and information locally for purposes that do not benefit people locally; or projects that do not directly involve local people, although they may occasionally use information from local sources for their purposes.
BCD Conservation Survey (571)

Comments are closed.