“Culture should be regarded as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs.” (UNESCO, 2002)

“Biodiversity also incorporates human cultural diversity, which can be affected by the same drivers as biodiversity, and which has impacts on the diversity of genes, other species and ecosystems.” (UNEP, 2007)

Taking the broadest definition of culture, how do we decide what is a cultural practice? Some simple criteria include:

1. / Distinct Cultural Practice /

Is the practice evidently based on cultural values and value systems that can be identified, that differentiate it from other practices in the same place or area?

2. / Authenticity / integrity /

Is the practice an authentic endeavour embedded in a community?

3. / Biodiversity /

Does the practice occur in areas of high biodiversity value?

4. / Impact /

Does the practice contribute, directly or indirectly, to the conservation of biodiversity and/or the sustainable use of natural resources? Does the practice contribute to the Traditional Ecological Knowledge of a region?

5. / Sustainability /

Does the practice have longevity and therefore has it been sustainable to date? What is the likelihood of its existence in the future?

6. / Added Value /

What can we practically do, as an interdisciplinary team, to support this practice?

Click here to view the full Rapid Assessment Report, or hover the map below to see Cultural Practices from a partnering region.