Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (2): 184-192.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020492

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Investigation and evaluation of traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity: A case study in Lancang and Kangding ethnic counties

Dongmei Liu1, Guo Li1, Junsheng Li1,*(), Jingbiao Yang2,*(), Nengwen Xiao1   

  1. 1 Institue of Ecology, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012
    2 College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081
  • Received:2020-12-31 Accepted:2021-02-18 Online:2021-02-20 Published:2021-02-26
  • Contact: Junsheng Li,Jingbiao Yang


Aims: Traditional knowledge (TK) associated with biodiversity is one of the important topics outline in the Convention on Biological Diversity and Nagoya Protocol. This study reports the characteristics, main threat factors and protection gaps of TK associated with biodiversity in Lancang County of Yunnan Province and Kangding City of Sichuan Province. The study will provide a scientific basis for promoting the protection of TK, the implementation of TK access and benefit-sharing (ABS) systems in ethnic minority areas, and the adoption of international conventions.
Methods: From 2016 to 2018, we investigated and evaluated TK associated with biodiversity in Lancang County and Kangding City, using the “Technical guidelines for investigation and assessment of TK associated with biological diversity at county level”. We used the snowball sampling method to sample the target groups, determined the holders of TK, and then interviewed key people.
Results: In Lancang County, 145 examples of TK associated with biodiversity were recorded, and 98 examples were recorded in Kangding City. These TK had obvious regional climate and natural environment characteristics, production and life practice characteristics, traditional cultural characteristics and socio-economic characteristics. Relevant government departments made positive efforts in the protection and management of TK, and local community actions, including traditional culture (customary law, rituals, etc.) and religious beliefs (sacrifice, sacred mountain, sacred forest, etc.) also played an important role in the protection and inheritance of TK. TK, innovation and practices associated with biodiversity were widely used in poverty alleviation and industrial development of local communities in Lancang County and Kangding City. The main threats to TK included the imperfect legislation of TK protection, extinction and endangerment, the low awareness of protections and the reduction of biological resources associated with TK.
Conclusion: There is rich TK associated with biodiversity in both examined counties, and local communities effectively participate in the protection and sustainable use of TK. In the future, the relevant departments should establish a national system for TK access and benefit sharing; strengthen publicity and education to enhance the awareness of protection and inheritance; protect TK according to local conditions; and promote the protection and sustainable utilization of biological resources associated with TK.

Key words: traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity, investigation, evaluation, benefit sharing, county level