Mongabay series: Indigenous Knowledge

India was one of the earliest movers for turning the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) into national law. The Biodiversity Act of 2002 mandated as national policy the three guiding principles of the CBD - conservation of biodiversity, promoting its sustainable use, and ensuring access and benefit sharing. To promote sustainable use of biological diversity it has to be combined with the associated knowledge of its use. And this is where the importance of traditional knowledge of those communities who have conserved these resources for generations come in. For the continued use of traditional practices in today’s growth-based economy, linkages between the market-based economic system and traditional knowledge-based products need to be built. Economic viability is key for buy-in from policy makers, which in turn ensures longterm economic sustainability for the communities. Since the basis for many traditional knowledge systems are rooted in biodiversity and environment conservation, it would have economic growth and conservation as co-benefits. Talking about existing linkages through our stories would help build this narrative.

Kerala farmers go bananas over diversity

“Every district in Kerala has its favourite banana,” said Nishanth K., a 49-year-old banana farmer, from Kerala’s Wayanad district, who has over 250 varieties of bananas on his farm. “Wayanad…