Welcome to BES-Net’s Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) module.

This module aims at providing online learning and networking opportunities on issues in the interface between science, policy and practice related to indigenous and local knowlege in ecosystem services.

In this module, you can learn more about the organisations who are working in this field, share information and knowledge, connect and interact with experts from around the globe, and find possible solutions to your specific questions.

ILK in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Biodiversity conservation often depends on indigenous and local people who are the custodians of nature. Many territories with important concentrations of biodiversity also coincide with areas inhabited by subsistence farmers, fishing and other rural communities with customary use rights to land or resources, or by indigenous people’s lands. The global loss of biodiversity and degradation of land and resources affects local and indigenous ways of life, their livelihoods and knowledge systems, and communities’ resilience to climate change and other shocks.

Policymaking needs to be driven both by scientific findings, as published in peer-reviewed science journals, and also by accumulated indigenous and local knowledge and wisdom, gained over thousands of years. It is an on-going challenge to achieve the synergistic inclusion of contrasting knowledge visions in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services and to ensure participation of ILK holders in national and international processes.

This module has been developed in collaboration with the IPBES Task Force working on IPBES procedures, approaches and participatory processes for working with indigenous and local knowledge systems (deliverable 1(c)).



Organisations and Initiatives

The following organisations and initiatives are leaders in the field of Indigenous and Local Knowledge in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. They have provided content, experts, and more to BES-Net. To learn more about a particular organization and the work they are doing click below.

Search library

Search or browse through our library of existing resources on Indigenous and Local Knowledge in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Entries include scientific articles, reports, policy briefs, webinars, videos, and more. To view a particular resource, click below.


These individuals are experts in the field of Indigenous and Local Knowledge in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. BES-Net experts come from a wide range of sectors, from community activists to research scientists. They are available to answer questions, respond to polls, and engage in conversation with BES-Net users on their area of expertise. To learn more about an expert and their work, or get in touch with them, click below.