The Power of Indigenous Wisdom: Combating Climate Change and Protecting Biodiversity

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Climate change and biodiversity loss are urgent challenges. To find solutions, we can learn from indigenous peoples who have lived in harmony with nature for generations.

The Power of Indigenous Wisdom: Combating Climate Change and Protecting Biodiversity

Their wisdom can help us tackle climate change and safeguard our planet's biodiversity.

Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Climate Action:

Indigenous communities have valuable Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) passed down through generations. This knowledge helps us understand ecosystems, climate patterns, and sustainable resource management. By adopting their practices like rotational farming and agroforestry, we can reduce emissions and protect the environment.

Preserving Biodiversity through Indigenous Stewardship

Indigenous people are guardians of critical ecosystems like forests and wetlands. Respecting their rights and involving them in conservation efforts can help protect endangered species and their habitats. Their knowledge of medicinal plants is also vital for modern medicine.

Indigenous Wisdom for Resilient Adaptation

Indigenous communities have faced environmental changes and developed resilience. We can learn from them to adapt to climate challenges. Their innovative techniques, like building flood-resistant homes and drought-resistant agriculture, can benefit everyone.

In BCOMING

Ethic groups inhabit our biodiversity hotspots. Cambodia is home to 24 different Indigenous people who speak at least 19 indigenous languages. They constitute approx. 1.1 - 3% of the national population. In Ivory Coast there are more than 60 indigenous ethnic groups, with the Akan community being the most dominant.

Despite the re-occurring global environmental problems, indigenous communities have historically faced significant challenges when dealing with infectious diseases. Enhancing our collaborative efforts and protecting their well-being by including them in our participatory approaches is crucial. Raising awareness and participation of indigenous and local communities in preventing pandemics is vital to increasing biodiversity conservation and recovery opportunities.

By respecting their knowledge and involving them in our efforts, we can create a more sustainable and diverse world for all.

#WeareIndigenous

Posted on
ivory-coast-and-guinea cambodia

Read more blog post

BCOMING - Bats ectoparasites study

The BCOMING project aims to conduct a thorough evaluation of biodiversity across various anthropogenic gradients and scales. In Cambodia, the scientific team is focusing on the bat interface as a key component, not only to assess zoonotic risk but also to understand broader ecological dynamics. Among the features being evaluated are the communities of bats' ectoparasites, which play important roles in bats’ ecosystem health and disease transmission dynamics between them. Bats harbor a diverse array of ectoparasites, including fleas, flies, ticks, and mites for examples, and are an integral part to the intricate relationships between them, their hosts, and the environment. Despite being often overlooked, these ectoparasites appear to be essential ecological components and can serve as indicators of ecosystem health. While poorly understood, these ectoparasites, through occasional changes of host, could facilitate the transmission of infectious diseases within bat colonies. Two families, Streblidae and Nycteribiidae, stand out for their unique adaptations and behaviors within the bat ecosystem.

Read more

Bridging the Gap

Mammals, a vital component of terrestrial ecosystems, are facing drastic declines due to anthropogenic changes in landscapes. With many species secluded in protected areas and facing extreme conservation status, there is a growing need for rapid, cost-effective, and noninvasive methods to monitor their populations. Within BCOMING, it is important that we use the most accurate techniques to establish biodiversity assessment as it is a core component in our research on pathogen circulation. Our team at Université de Liège in Belgium, consisting of Dr Pauline van Leeuwen and Prof. Johan Michaux, delves into the scientific literature for non-invasive methods to detect mammalian species in the field. They published the first scientific article supported by the BCOMING consortium. This study compares conventional survey methods and the emerging environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding technique for mammal biodiversity assessment.

Read more

Unraveling Cambodia's biodiversity tapestry

In the heart of Southeast Asia lies Cambodia, a country teeming with biodiversity that has long captivated the imaginations of scientists and conservationists alike. Nestled within this rich tapestry of ecosystems, a dedicated research team from Université de Liège embarks on an exciting journey to unravel the mysteries of Cambodia's wildlife microbiome at the human-animal interface. Our team at Université de Liège in Belgium, consisting of Dr Pauline van Leeuwen and Prof. Johan Michaux, is leading the microbiome component of the BCOMING project. We aim to improve our knowledge of the influence of biodiversity and on microbiomes structure and zoonotic risks.
Read more