Artículo | 15 Mar, 2019

Submit a case study on local and indigenous knowledge and conservation practices in Mountain Ecosystems

IUCN Commission on Ecosystems Management (CEM) Mountain Ecosystem Specialist Group invites submissions of case studies on local and indigenous knowledge and conservation practices in Mountain Ecosystems.

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 Eastern Himalayas; Manipur, India

Photo: Sejuti Basu

Deadline for abstracts –April 15 2019 - Deadline for final submissions – July 15 2019

Despite their documented roles in biodiversity conservation and resource governance (see, e.g. Reyes-Garcia et al., 2018; Ancrenaz, Dabek and O’Neil 2007; Nazarea 2006), local and indigenous communities continue to divide the field of conservation reflecting disagreements between conservation as a narrowly constructed scientific domain vs a shared social contract and set of socio-political practices. For example, a recent ruling passed by the Supreme Court of India will likely evict millions of forest-dwelling peoples from their traditional lands, a decision supported by some environmental groups (Masih 2019).

Local and indigenous communities are at the forefront of environmental stewardship.  Continuous efforts are needed to recognize and document their contributions to conservation and expand the existing evidence base. If communities are truly considered as partners in conservation, conservation will likely be achieved in more cost-effective and sustainable ways as already reflected by gains in indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs). Similarly, traditional knowledge can complement scientific research and conservation policies, particularly in data deficient areas such as remote Mountain Ecosystems.

In line with IUCN’s priority of promoting recognition and integration of local and indigenous knowledge in environmental decision-making and policy, we are seeking relevant case studies from Mountain Ecosystems around the world. Submissions may explore the interface between traditional knowledges and other forms of scientific knowledge to address conservation issues or their successful integration in domains such as protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services, natural resource and landscape management, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and other forms of evidence on how indigenous and local knowledge are contributing towards the conservation and resilience of Mountain Ecosystems. The case studies may depict diverse approaches in participatory research, policy formulation or programme implementation and associated learnings from international, regional, national, sub-national or local levels. Preference will be given to studies that explore practical approaches and benefits of blending indigenous knowledge and practices into research, policy and programming and share lessons on what worked and why.

The case studies may focus on (but not limited to):

  • Tools and practical approaches for indigenous knowledge mapping and validation
  • Successful integration of indigenous knowledge for policy and programming
  • Resilient infrastructure and climate adaptation inspired by indigenous knowledge systems
  • Participatory vulnerability mapping and resource governance
  • Mapping and conservation of rare/endangered species using indigenous methods
  • Indigenous knowledge and preservation of intellectual property rights

We equally welcome other ideas that fall within the scope of the broader call.

Drawing from the diverse and vibrant regional experiences of its membership, the Mountain Ecosystems Specialist Group seeks to document and share case studies and lessons learned. The compendium of case studies will contribute towards IUCN knowledge resources to influence critical global, regional and local decisions and actions on ecosystem conservation and governance. The proposed publication seeks to inspire integration of indigenous knowledge and conservation practices in mountain ecosystem management research, policies and implementation by showcasing successful methodologies and proven benefits. All case studies will be peer-reviewed by a panel of experts and mentorship will be provided to selected authors in the preparation of final manuscripts.

Submission procedure:

Please submit extended abstracts (500-750 words) by April 15, 2019.

Selected applicants will be notified by May 1, 2019.

Full length case studies (5000 words excluding bibliography) will be due July 15, 2019.

Submissions and queries should be sent to:

Dr. Omer Aijazi and Sejuti Basu

IUCN CEM Mountain Ecosystems Specialist Group


Please mark the subject line as “Indigenous Knowledge Abstract”


Ancrenaz, M., Dabek, L., & O'Neil, S. (2007). The costs of exclusion: recognizing a role for local communities in biodiversity conservation. PLoS Biology, 5(11 e289), 2443-2448.

Reyes‐García, V., Fernández‐Llamazares, Á., McElwee, P., Molnár, Z., Öllerer, K., Wilson, S. J., & Brondizio, E. S. (2018). The contributions of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities to ecological restoration. Restoration Ecology [online first].

Masih, N. (2019). India orders ‘staggering’ eviction of 1 million indigenous people. Some environmentalists are cheering. The Washington Post.

Nazarea, V. D. (2006). Local knowledge and memory in biodiversity conservation. Annual Review of Anthropology, 35, 317-335.