Skip to main content

Call for contributions on indigenous and local knowledge

We are inviting indigenous peoples and local communities and other knowledge holders from all over the world to contribute to three new biodiversity assessments being developed by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

The deadline for contributions has now been extended to 15 September 2020.

Click here to view the survey in: عربى español / français / русский

  • 1 Current Introduction
  • 2 Your information
  • 3 Your contributions
  • 4 Overall comments or recommendations
  • 5 Preview

About IPBES and Indigenous and local knowledge
IPBES is an independent intergovernmental body charged by its 136 member states and parties to provide policy makers with the best available knowledge on biodiversity, human well-being, and sustainable development ( In this work, IPBES recognizes the importance of Indigenous and local knowledge, including practices, values, concerns and actions. IPBES has developed a series of methodologies to work with Indigenous and local knowledge and to facilitate the participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities in IPBES activities.

More information on how Indigenous peoples and local communities can participate in the work of IPBES is available here.

The assessments
One of the key functions of IPBES is to produce global-scale assessments of biodiversity, bringing together teams of authors to examine and assess the available information on different topics. To date, IPBES is the most ambitious intergovernmental platform to bring Indigenous and local knowledge to the core of large-scale assessments.
IPBES is currently working on three assessments, which are the focus of this call for contributions:

  • Sustainable use of wild species. This assessment will include a focus on how Indigenous peoples and local communities practice sustainable use of wild species, the benefits this can bring to people and nature, and the values and institutions supporting sustainable use, the challenges today, and ways of supporting sustainable use by Indigenous peoples and local communities. (read more)
  • Diverse conceptualisations of multiple values of nature. This assessment will include a focus on how IPLC understand and value nature, the challenges today, and the methods and policy processes that could be developed to better support the values of Indigenous peoples and local communities. (read more)
  • Invasive alien species. This assessment will include a focus on how Indigenous peoples and local communities understand, experience and respond to new species arriving in their lands and waters, and how their response strategies can be better recognised and supported. (read more)

Why participate in this call?

Contributions from Indigenous peoples and local communities will help to frame and develop the assessments in ways that recognize the role of Indigenous and local knowledge, practices, values and actions in biodiversity conservation, as well as current challenges faced by indigenous peoples and local communities, and ways forward. The assessments can bring these issues to the attention of policy-makers, and help to facilitate discussions between Indigenous peoples and local communities and policy-makers and other actors.

Who can participate?
Members of Indigenous peoples or local communities are encouraged to participate, including women, men, elders, youth, specialist knowledge holders, organisations or networks, as well as researchers and others working with Indigenous and local knowledge.

What are we hoping to receive?
We are hoping to receive materials that express community-based knowledge, practices, values, needs, and experiences related to one or more of the assessments described above. Materials could be in national or local languages, and could include (but are not limited to):

  • Community reports 
  • Community declarations
  • Academic papers
  • Vision statements
  • Planning documents
  • Books
  • Case studies
  • Maps
  • Videos
  • Documentaries
  • Songs
  • Artworks
  • Capacity building plans
  • Education materials
  • Legal frameworks or policies

We also welcome recommendations of individuals, communities, organizations and networks that could collaborate in the development of the assessments. 

How will the information you provide be used?
Materials contributed will be added to a library of materials related to Indigenous and local knowledge and Indigenous peoples and local communities, which will be used by authors of IPBES assessments. If the materials are used as part of an assessment, they will be cited and acknowledged in the assessment report. The library is not publically accessible and will only be used by authors of IPBES assessments.
The names and contact information of individuals and organisations that you recommend will be added to a database. This will allow us to contact these individual or organisations to invite them to participate in activities such as writing portions of text, participating in dialogue workshops, or reviewing parts of the assessment. Individuals and organisations can also be removed from this list whenever they wish. 

Free, Prior and Informed Consent
This call for contributions will follow principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as follows:

  • Contributed materials will only be used by IPBES authors to develop IPBES assessments. Materials will not be used for any other purposes unless consent is given.
  • Materials are contributed voluntarily, and can be withdrawn at a future date, before they are used in the final assessments, should contributors decide to do so.
  • All rights to contributed materials continue to belong to the contributor or community, as before contribution.
  • Information or materials contributed should already be publicly available and should not represent sensitive or private data or information. The contributor should consult with their community or relevant institutions if there is uncertainty over whether information can be shared.
  • If you feel that information has been submitted without permission or used inappropriately please contact IPBES at:

For further information on the IPBES approach to Free, Prior and Informed Consent see Decision IPBES-5/1.  If more information on use of materials is required please contact IPBES at: