This month, the UN celebrates Cultural Diversity Day (May 21) and Biological Diversity Day (May 22). We at Terralingua would like to take that a step further and recommend that Cultural Diversity Day and Biodiversity Day would be better combined into Biocultural Diversity Day! Cultural diversity and biological diversity are inextricably interlinked; both give vitality and resilience to this planet—our home—sustaining us. We can’t maintain biodiversity without cultural diversity, and vice versa.
Biocultural diversity is a precious gift to be cherished and nurtured for the future of all life, ourselves included. The rationalistic disconnect that has led people in the industrialized world to see humans as separate from, and dominant over, nature is a key (if not the key) source of most of our environmental and social problems. And it is reflected in the knowledge and policy silos that we have today—whereby, for example, the natural sciences and the social sciences are taught separately; the world of economics fundamentally knows nearly nothing about either nature or culture; and international bodies celebrate cultural and biological diversity days separately.
We at Terralingua have been spearheading the integrative concept of biocultural diversity for almost 25 years—since 1996. If you’re not yet familiar with our approach, you can find plenty of resources right here on our website. Learn all about biocultural diversity, why it matters, and explore our Biocultural Diversity Toolkit, which offers a wealth of resources and tools for understanding and sustaining biocultural diversity. You may also be interested in Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook, a 2010 resource that’s still being used as a resource both in classrooms and in the field.
At a time when we and our planet have more to lose—and to gain—than ever, we encourage you to celebrate #BioCulturalDiversity.
Terralingua Co-founder and Director
Langscape Magazine Editor