Building peace in the minds of men and women

Indigenous Knowledge and Biodiversity



Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform (IPBES)

Biodiversity is inextricably intertwined with the well-being of people and of Planet Earth. Across the globe, people are in constant interaction with the biological components of their environment, and through this interaction they nurture sophisticated sets of knowledge and practice, which include both science and indigenous & local knowledge (ILK). In the face of unprecedented declines in biodiversity over past decades, it has become increasingly apparent that synergies must be built among knowledge systems in order to provide policy-makers and science practitioners with the best available knowledge to decide what urgent action must be taken to halt the rapidly accelerating degradation and loss of the biodiversity and ecosystem services that underpin sustainability, as well as resilience in the face of global change.

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) synthesizes, reviews, assesses and critically evaluate relevant knowledge. A key operating principle embeds the recognition of and respect for indigenous and local knowledge in all aspects of IPBES.

In line with this operating principle, a focus was dedicated under the IPBES Workprogramme 2014-2018 to

  • develop procedures and approaches for working with indigenous and local knowledge systems
  • develop a roster and network of experts to support the Platform’s work;
  • develop a participatory mechanism for indigenous and local knowledge systems under the Platform
  • pilot the procedures and approaches in thematic, regional and global assessments, including through the use of global and regional dialogue workshops and reviews

This set of deliverables are collectively known as Deliverable 1(c).

An IPBES Task Force on Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems (ILK-TF) was established to oversee the work on Deliverable 1 (c).

The LINKS programme supports IPBES in its work on Deliverable 1(c) by hosting the Technical Support Unit for the IPBES Task Force on Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems (ILK-TF). For more information on ILK and IPBES, please email

Every year, the Task Force provides updates on its work, including on these deliverables at each IPBES Plenary. Further detail on these reports is available for each plenary.

Periodic calls for submission are issued by the ILK-TF. Researchers and indigenous and local knowledge holders with relevant expertise in these areas are encouraged to respond. All calls for submission are posted here (TBC).




Native Rice Varieties of the H're in Po E Commune, Kon Plong District, Kon Tum Province, Vietnam
SPERI: Lễ ăn lúa mới của người H'rê xã Pờ Ê, Kon Plong, Kon Tum