Links Between Biological and Cultural Diversity

05 May 2008, France

The myriad links between cultural and biological diversity are increasingly viewed as key elements in achieving sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals.

Because of its interdisciplinary nature, combining natural and social sciences, culture, education and communication, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is in a unique position to mainstream the links between biological and cultural diversity in research, political dialogue and action from local to international levels.

As a subset but key component of the interlinkages between biological and cultural diversity, the use of local and traditional knowledge for biodiversity and heritage conservation will be further studied and documented as well as the status and trends in linguistic diversity and the numbers of speakers of indigenous languages. Attention will be paid to distilling principles of biological-cultural diversity interactions that may assist with the design and implementation of relevant policies. Ultimately, the analytical and scientific work conducted by UNESCO in this area will assist the implementation and enhanced cooperation between normative instruments related to biological and cultural diversity, which will include but will not be limited to the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.