Working Paper

Biocultural Approaches: Opportunities for Building More Inclusive Environmental Governance

Published on 27 November 2017

A significant portion of the world’s remaining biodiversity and agrobiodiversity is in the hands of local and indigenous communities who tend to be politically marginalised and thus excluded from formal environmental governance schemes.

In spite of the growth of interactional approaches to environmental governance, experiences of indigenous and local communities suggest that challenges remain in shifting mindsets and practices away from structured and formal mechanisms to understand and support local environmental governance models that are already delivering significant global environmental outcomes.

This paper explores biocultural approaches to environmental governance and conservation through analysing two cases: (i) Indigenous Biocultural Territories and their emphasis on in-situ conservation of biocultural heritage; and (ii) Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas, based on community and activist work on biodiversity conservation across the world. They show that it is possible to create space for locally driven environmental governance while at the same time pursuing interactional and inclusive approaches within national contexts.


Marina Apgar

Research Fellow

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published by
Apgar, J.M.
IDS Working Paper, issue 502


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