Biocultural Diversity: Threatened species, endangered languages

| November 19, 2015 | Leave a Comment

Fisherman | The World Bank Group

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Media Type: Report / Policy Brief

Date of Publication: June 2014

Year of Publication: 2014

Publication City: Zeist, The Netherlands

Publisher: WWF Netherlands

Author(s): Jonathon Loh, David Harmon

Categories: , ,

Biodiversity and cultural diversity face many similar challenges throughout the world. Considering how they relate to each other, their similar declines, and the common drivers of these declines, this report from WWF Netherlands considers them as aspects of a single entity –biocultural diversity.

We can think of nature and culture as being dual aspects of a single entity, biocultural diversity; but not just because the two concepts are blurred at their interface. It is because both nature and culture, as defined above, are what they are as a result of evolution, and they have evolved in similar ways. So similar, in fact, that in this report we will describe culture and cultural evolution in the same terms as nature and natural evolution, using concepts borrowed from genetics, ecology and population biology. We will go on to examine the extinction crisis facing both biological and cultural diversity, and use methods developed in conservation biology to assess and compare the state of biodiversity with the state of cultural diversity, and contrast recent trends in the two.

Co-author Jonathon Loh, a research associate at the Zoological Society of London, speaks on PRI’s Living on Earth.

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