Contributed by Christine Kabuye

The 15th Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology will be held at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, 1-7 August 2016.

We are glad to welcome all to the 2016 congress to be hosted by Makerere University in collaboration with the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, and Buganda Kingdom.

The tagline for the congress which is “Together keeping continuity from our roots” emphasizes the need for special efforts that have to be taken to learn from our cultural heritage and knowledge to improve livelihoods now and in the future.

The main theme for the congress will be ‘Ethnobiological knowledge for improved human wellbeing and development’. Under this there will be various subthemes from Indigenous knowledge systems in food security, medicine, and practices in resource use and management, tied to education, scientific research, and their blending for wellbeing and development options, inevitably touching on some policy implications.

Some of the subthemes are:

  • Culture and education
  • Ethnobiology and economic development
  • The science behind traditional practices
  • Traditional medicine, spirituality and the law
  • Traditional medicine and modern medicine (bridging the gap between the two)
  • Culture at the crossroads: threatened cultural institutions
  • Gender roles and issues in resource management
  • Ethnobiological knowledge and intellectual property issues
  • Ethnobiological knowledge transmission and survival of indigenous languages
  • Indigenous Knowledge systems and food security
  • Policy evolution and natural resource management
  • Bioprospecting and international law

Other subjects will be encouraged from other members of the ISE as it is believed that through interactions, learning and sharing experiences, ethnobiological knowledge and relationships among various peoples will be expanded.

The congress will be interactive with the usual oral papers, and poster sessions as well as a range of other formats in form of films, performances, exhibitions and hands-on experiences such as making articles or playing traditional instruments.

Uganda, apart from being biologically rich, is one of the most ethnically diverse countries. Congress participants will witness this richness in diversity during the congress and on post-congress tours.

It is hoped that the usual pre-congress workshop for INEE and the congress stream of the Indigenous Forum will be part of the congress.