Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

Building knowledge around biodiversity

the process of documenting experiential knowledge in agriculture

Organiser: Jorge Chavez-Tafur and Edith van Walsum (ILEIA)

Paulo Petersen, AS-PTA, Brazil
IED Afrique, Dakar, Senegal
AME, Bangalore, India

Industrial agriculture is heavily influenced by the knowledge emerging from research institutions. In contrast, traditional agriculture involves millions of farmers and other stakeholders, all of whom have for centuries been actively experimenting, adapting and developing knowledge tailored to their specific environment. Based on the use of local resources, their work is especially relevant in fragile ecosystems, and forms the basis of what we now know as sustainable agriculture. In the context of this conference, it is relevant to look at where and how farmers build knowledge, and at the role of external stakeholders (development organisations, governmental agencies, researchers) in furthering these knowledge building processes.

In this workshop we will first discuss the process of documenting experiential knowledge in agriculture. We will then look at how a wide sharing of such knowledge can be facilitated, and how educators, extensionists and farmers make use of the information generated. Thirdly, we will explore how the systematization of learning on sustainable agriculture contributes towards a wider spread of sustainable agricultural practices, and towards changes in agricultural policies.

Experimenting with watering methods in Ethiopia, Photo: S. Edwards

Your contribution on this subject

» Go to the forum of this workshop

Last Contributions

Background Papers and further reading

Editorial of the LEISA magazine of September 2006. This highlights the importance of building on previous ideas, and of considering the contribution of farmers' innovations.

Editorial of the LEISA magazine of March 2006. This text is looking at the importance of documentation in the processes which build knowledge.

International Instruments and Initiatives Protecting Indigenous Knowledge: Implications for Developing Countries
Suman Sahai, Ujjwal Kumar, Indrani Barpujari, Gene Campaign POLICY BRIEFING - I
The need to accord protection to the indigenous knowledge (IK) of local and indigenous communities at an international level, was acutely realized when a number of ‘biopiracy’ cases first occurred. Developing countries like India, which are rich in both biodiversity and its associated IK, have felt that it would be most cost- effective to establish an internationally accepted solution to prevent ‘biopiracy’, which would not only avert misappropriation but also ensure that national level benefit sharing mechanisms and laws are respected worldwide.

Indrani Barpujari, A Discussion Paper - II
Local and indigenous communities have since time immemorial, shared a close and interdependent relationship with the elements of their environment.
This proximity and deep understanding has developed into a knowledge system which over the years, handed down from one generation to the next, has aided their survival and constitutes their indigenous knowledge or IK.

Building knowledge around biodiversityConstruire un savoir autour de la biodiversitéWissensbildung zur biologischen VielfaltLa generación de conocimiento alrededor de la biodiversidad

Local Organising Committee