Armadillo photograph

Armadillos as a protection against curses. Huari, Bolivia, 2007. Photograph by Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel

The ISE Global Coalition for Biocultural Diversity* was established in 1990 by the Kunming Action Plan, which outlines the principles that guide members of the Global Coaltition.

The purpose of the Global Coalition is “to encourage the permanent and meaningful dialogue between indigenous peoples, scientists and environmentalists in order to develop a unified strategy to defend the biological and cultural diversity of planet Earth.” Although the specific language may be considered somewhat antiquated, the same spirit and intent guides the international policy focus of the Global Coalition today.

A key accomplishment of the Global Coalition is the development of a Code of Ethics for the ISE. The Code of Ethics was initiated in 1996, and completed and unanimously adopted by the ISE Membership at the 10th International Congress of Ethnobiology in 2006. It promotes “genuine partnerships and collaboration with indigenous peoples, traditional societies and local communities to avoid past injustices and build towards developing positive, beneficial and harmonious relationships in the field of ethnobiology.”

The Global Coalition, in conjunction with the Ethics Program, works closely with other non-profit organizations and academic and professional societies on policy and advocacy, including implementation and adoption of the ISE Code of Ethics. The ISE Congresses provide an important meeting ground for these groups to come together to share experiences and ideas and formulate action plans.

Read about the current activities of the ISE Global Coalition

Participatory mapping with Shawi communities. Santa Maria de Cahuapanas, Peru, 2007. Photograph by Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel


*The original name, The Global Coalition for the Defense of Biological and Cultural Diversity, was changed to The ISE Global Coalition  for Biocultural Diversity by membership vote at the second General Assembly during the 2010 ISE Congress in Tofino, BC, Canada.