The Sallka Ayllu program component focuses
on the conservation of biological, genetic, and ecosystem diversity, and
the Andean landscape. ANDES applies the holistic concept of collective biocultural heritage to conservation.
Biocultural heritage has been defined as, The knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous and local communities which are often collectively held and are inextricably linked to traditional resources and lands and waters traditionally occupied by indigenous and local communities; including the diversity of genes, varieties, species and ecosystems; cultural and spiritual values; and customary laws shaped within the socio-ecological context of communities (CBD Secretariat, 2009).
The Indigenous Biocultural Territory (IBCT) model, which resulted from the process of establishing the The Potato Park , describes a community-led and rights-based approach to
conservation which protects and enhances local livelihoods and
biocultural diversity using the knowledge, traditions, and philosophies
of indigenous peoples related to the holistic and adaptive management of
traditional agricultural landscapes.
six Quechua communities conforming the Potato Park hold about
1500 varieties of cultivated potatoes and the area also has the world’s highest number of wild
potato varieties. The communities’ traditional knowledge, customary laws and
spiritual beliefs that nurture these resources are in turn shaped and
sustained by the Andean ancestral landscapes and their sacred mountain
gods or Apus.
The IBCT model is in various stages of implementation in Lares, the Vilcanota Spiritual Park, the Lucre-Huacarpay Wetland, and the Biocultural Corridor of Ruta Condor.