Appraising biocultural approaches to sustainability in the scientific literature in Spanish

Research output: Journal contributionsScientific review articlesResearch


Biocultural approaches that acknowledge the multiple and dynamic relationships between the diversity of cultures and nature are growing in popularity in sustainability research. Scientific contributions to biocultural approaches written in Spanish are numerous, including influential work on biocultural memory, biocultural heritage and biocultural ethics. However, despite linguistic diversity being considered essential in knowledge production for assuring broad and balanced evidence to successfully cope with sustainability challenges, non-English literature is rarely reviewed and taken into account in English-language scientific knowledge production and publications. This review assesses how the scientific literature in Spanish conceptualizes and applies biocultural approaches, showing their richness beyond the Anglophone predominance in academic knowledge production and communication. The results suggest that insights from Spanish-language scientific literature could contribute alternative methodological and theoretical pathways for biocultural approaches that might foster transformations for more sustainable human-nature relationships. We conclude by highlighting avenues that could bring more plural biocultural studies.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)499-516
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 04.2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. 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).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

    Research areas

  • Biocultural diversity, Decolonization, Endogenous development, Epistemic justice, Indigenous and local knowledge, Latin America
  • Biology
  • Ecosystems Research