The dialogue among different social actors working at different scales in the global north and the global south on the current roles, challenges, and future alternatives for biocultural diversity as a key element of social-ecological resilience can inform local, national, regional and global policy processes. The identification of lessons learned from the ground by biocultural diversity knowledge holders can further enrich the search for future alternatives by policy makers, scientists and practitioners for the safe navigation of social-ecological systems.

A particularly promising setting for such dialogues is the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, one of the areas of the world with the most prominent biocultural diversity (Camacho-Benavides et al. 2013). While conserving an important fraction of its biocultural diversity, Oaxaca has been subjected to important cultural and governance changes fostered, among other drivers, by rural out-migration (Robson and Berkes 2011). This area is also the home to several local initiatives that promote the conservation of biocultural diversity and the co-creating of knowledge and institutions towards its maintenance. The celebration of the international conference of the Programme for Ecosystem Change and Society in November 2017 (PECS 2017, www.pecii.org), in the city of Oaxaca, provides a unique opportunity to highlight the biocultural diversity of Oaxaca and for creating a fruitful space for interactions among diverse actors. Specifically, these dialogues will contribute to the ongoing search for new opportunities or promising seeds for the Anthropocene (Bennett et al. 2016).

Finally, this initiative will contribute to the achievement of the key objectives of the UNESCO-SCBD joint programme that seeks to increase awareness about the links between cultural and biological diversity in natural resource management and decision-making processes, as well as for the resilience of social-ecological systems. In particular, the initiative will contribute to the achievement of the objective number five, which is to support and foster learning networks on bio-cultural approaches, linking grassroots and community initiatives with local, national, regional and global policy processes (www.cbd.int/lbcd/).




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