This call is now closed.

Please see the Guidelines for Individual Submissions and Session/Workshop Submissions.

Recognition of the central role of Indigenous peoples in all global, regional, and local processes is a founding element of the International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE). Supporting and promoting the critical efforts of indigenous peoples, traditional societies, and local communities in the conservation of biological, cultural and linguistic diversity has been the priority since the ISE’s inception in 1988.

Over twenty years ago, at the inaugural international congress held in Belém, Brazil in 1988, more than 600 people from 35 countries and 16 Indigenous organizations came together to discuss a common strategy to stop the rapid deterioration of the planet’s biological and cultural diversity. They adopted the Declaration of Belém, which explicitly outlines the responsibilities of scientists and environmentalists in addressing the needs of local communities, including establishing mechanisms by which indigenous experts are recognized as proper authorities and are meaningfully and equitably engaged in all initiatives that affect them, their resources, and their environments.

Today, the ISE continues its groundbreaking efforts in providing a platform for a meaningful and respectful dialogue among people of diverse views, cultures and backgrounds. Cross-cultural sharing of ideas, issues and solutions across Indigenous and non-Indigenous, academic and non-academic, and theoretical and practical perspectives is a vital part of this dialogue that takes place face-to-face at international congresses, held every two years in varying parts of the world. During the ISE Congresses, participants tackle the most difficult and challenging, yet promising questions of our times – cultural and intellectual property rights, endogenous development, and agrobiodiversity, to name a few – informing the global discourse and advancing debates to qualitatively new levels.

A fundamental aspect of the ISE that sets it apart from other societies is the Code of Ethics that, based in “mindfulness,” fosters mutually respectful and beneficial relationships between different knowledge holders. The Code of Ethics was adopted by the ISE membership in 2006 after a decade of development, and is a manifestation of the groundbreaking thinking, courage, and foresight of the ISE and a tremendously important contribution to the future of humankind.

Building on the traditions of past ISE congresses, the 14th ISE Congress in Lomai Gomp, Bumthang, Bhutan will yet again bring together indigenous and non-indigenous participants from around the world to tackle the key issues of our times. To help focus and guide dialogue and exchanges at the Congress, the broad themes of the Congress – regenerating biocultural ecosystem resilience and traditional knowledge – have been selected for their global significance as well as their importance for local community members. The Congress will include a wide range of formats for people to share their knowledge, ideas and experiences, ranging from talking circles, to film viewings and discussions, cultural performances, field trips, oral presentations and poster sessions. The Congress is intended to be highly interactive and participatory, and to foster a commitment by participants to building understanding and trust.

The congress sub-themes include:

  • Living Well: Environment, Sacred Heritage and Livelihood
  • Protected Areas, Ecotourism and Community Involvement
  • Intergenerational Learning/Transmission of Knowledge
  • Ethnobiology and Ecosystem Services – Broadening the Conversation
  • Influencing Governance Policies (community-based natural resource management, gender, participation, citizen science…)
  • Ethnobiology in Mountain Communities
  • Mindfulness, Ethics and Mental Ecology
  • Submissions on other themes that fall within main themes of regenerating biocultural ecosystem resilience and traditional knowledge will also be considered.

Contributions from all types of knowledge-holders are welcomed.

Please see the Guidelines for Individual Submissions and Session/Workshop Submissions.