Biocultural innovation: the key to global food security?
Sustainable Development Goal 2 — zero hunger — seeks to double productivity and incomes and ensure sustainable and resilient production by 2030, and maintain genetic diversity by 2020. Achieving these aims simultaneously in particular sites requires integrating traditional knowledge and community innovation with formal knowledge. Research by IIED and partners with 64 communities in four countries identified over 500 traditional knowledge-based or ‘biocultural’ innovations that enhance food security, resilience, livelihoods and biodiversity — some very effectively. Yet community innovation is rarely supported and cultural values and biodiversity that sustain it are eroding. Strengthening community innovation systems requires investment in co-innovation processes such as participatory plant breeding and biocultural heritage territories.