ISE Ethics Workshop, Thailand 2006

The Code of Ethics of the International Society of Ethnobiology has its origins in the Declaration of Belém, agreed upon in 1988 at the founding of the International Society of Ethnobiology (in Belém, Brazil). The Code of Ethics was initiated in 1996 and completed in 2006. The final version, adopted by the ISE membership at the 11th International Congress of Ethnobiology in November 2006, supersedes all previous draft versions. An Executive Summary and Glossary of Terms were added at the 11th International Congress of Ethnobiology in June 2008.

The fundamental value underlying the Code of Ethics is the concept of mindfulness – a continual willingness to evaluate one’s own understandings, actions, and responsibilities to others.

The Code of Ethics acknowledges that biological and cultural harms have resulted from research undertaken without the consent of Indigenous peoples. It affirms the commitment of the ISE to work collaboratively, in ways that: support community-driven development of Indigenous peoples’ cultures and languages; acknowledge Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights; protect the inextricable linkages between cultural, linguistic and biological diversity; and contribute to positive, beneficial and harmonious relationships in the field of ethnobiology.

Read the full text of the Code of Ethics online (in English)

Although English is the original language of the ISE Code of Ethics, it has also been translated into other languages. The ISE thanks all those who generously volunteered their time to create translations (acknowledged below):

English Code of Ethics in English, with Executive Summary and Glossary of Terms.
Code of Ethics in French, thanks to Florence Causeur, Claude Chastagner and Alain Cuerrier.
Italian Codice Etico in Italiano, thanks to Laura Solaris and Maria Pia Macchi of Magia Verde Onlus.
Spanish Código de Ética, versión en español, thanks to Patricia Navarrete and Carolina Gil of the Colombian Instituto de Etnobiologia, with Ana Vivaldi & colleagues. The Executive Summary and Glossary of Terms, added in 2008, were translated by Ugo d’Ambrosio and Mayra Villar-Buzo. The translation of the full Code and 2008 additions were reviewed and revised by Dr. Ricardo Rozzi and Dr. Francisca Massardo.
Chinese Code of Ethics in Chinese, thanks to Dr. Yi-Ren Lin and colleagues.
Bahasa Indonesia Code of Ethics in Bahasa Indonesia, thanks to Idah Farida and Jeanine Pfeiffer.
Hungarian Code of Ethics in Hungarian, thanks to Anna Varga, Gleb Raygorodetsky, Molnar Zsolt, Adrienn Gyenes, Zoltán Alföldi and The Hungarian Association for Land and People (
Portuguese Code of Ethics in Portuguese, thanks to Natalia Hanazaki, Thiago Gomes, Flavia Oliveira and Nivaldo Peroni.

Please cite the ISE Code of Ethics as follows:

International Society of Ethnobiology (2006). International Society of Ethnobiology Code of Ethics (with 2008 additions).

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