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Protecting indigenous cultures is crucial for saving the world’s biodiversity

This article published in The Conversation describes the inextricable linkage between the crisis of biodiversity loss and the loss of indigenous cultures. From animals to insects and plants, biodiversity loss cannot be effectively addressed without tackling the rapid disappearance of indigenous cultures. 

According to the author, indigenous peoples have conserved biodiversity for millennia. They have created much of the world’s agricultural biodiversity, including thousands of crop varieties, livestock breeds and unique landscapes. These practices continue today in many of their territories, creating new varieties of crops and livestock that are often more resilient than modern equivalents.

The article highlights the struggle of indigenous cultures and practices to face modernization, commercial development pressures, lack of secure rights to land and resources, migration and lack of cultural education. The prove the importance of this linkage the author highlights the case of the Potato Park, that has tripled potato diversity to about 650 native varieties, through the revival of Quechua culture and customary laws and a repatriation agreement with the International Potato Centre to restore native varieties