Indigenous and local knowledge in biocultural approaches to sustainability: a review of the literature in Spanish

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenÜbersichtsarbeitenForschung


Biocultural approaches are gaining attention for coping with current sustainability challenges.
These approaches recognize that biological and cultural diversity are inextricably linked.
Indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) plays an important role in biocultural approaches as
these often build on local cultural perspectives. This review explores how ILK is conceptualized and applied in the scientific literature published in Spanish on biocultural approaches to
sustainability and examines the status and trends of ILK described in this literature. For this,
we reviewed 72 publications and conducted a category-based qualitative content analysis.
We found multiple conceptualizations of ILK, although most of them shared some commonalities, such as the close link to specific biocultural contexts. The results suggests that there
are three themes that seem to be both relevant and controversial within the reviewed
literature: the different strategies to bridging diverse knowledge systems, the conflictive
views on the role of ILK in sustainability, and the threats to ILK. We also show that future
research would benefit from greater attention to power relations and context-specific
dynamics in bridging diverse knowledge systems, as there is still room to improve
approaches and tools to promote the co-production of knowledge while supporting and
enhancing the self-determination of IPLC. We conclude that the way biocultural approaches
to sustainability engage with ILK can support shape a variety of alternative futures, which
may differ from currently dominant perspectives on sustainability, and further demonstrate
that the design and implementation of conservation policies that protect both people and
nature can be enhanced
Titel in ÜbersetzungIndigenes und lokales Wissen in biokulturellen Zugängen zu Nachhaltigkeit: Ein Review der spanischsprachigen literatur.
ZeitschriftEcosystems and People
Anzahl der Seiten15
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 02.2023

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the Strategy “Research for Sustainability” (FONA; as part of its Social-Ecological Research funding priority [Grant No. 01UU1903]. This research draws on a review of biocultural approaches to sustainability in the scientific literature published in Spanish and we gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Camila Benavides Frias, María García-Martín, Berta Martín-López, Stefan Ortiz Przychodzka, Elisa Oteros-Rozas, and Mario Torralba for their contributions to that.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Transdisziplinäre Studien - ILK, Indigenousl knowledge, biocultural diversity, Knowledge diversity, Alternative approaches to Sustainability