ANDES promotes communal
development models based on the concept of biocultural heritage. The biocultural
concept emerged from research conducted with and by Quechua communities from
the Potato Park (IIED and ANDES, 2005; Argumedo and Pimbert, 2006).
IBCH is “a complex system of interdependent parts centered on the
reciprocal relationship between indigenous people and their natural environment.
Its various components include biological resources, ranging from the micro (genetic) to the macro (landscape) scales, and extensive
knowledge—i.e. ‘traditional knowledge’—about how to adapt to complex ecosystems
and sustainably use biodiversity. Some goods—such as foods, water, and
seeds—belong to all people and/or are essential for human beings and their
world. IBCH refers to the contribution of indigenous peoples to this ‘global
commons.’ It also refers to established patterns of behavior in traditional societies that are accepted as law by local residents, also called
‘customary law’.” Customary law reflects the Andean principles of reciprocity, duality and equilibrium.
ANDES is the pioneer and
promotor of the Indigenous Biocultural Territories. These areas are a sui
generis system for the protection of traditional knowledge because the
objective is to protect these traditional knowledge systems within their own
cultural, temporal and spatial dimensions using a combination of protective tools.
This model is a product of establishing the Potato Park and refers to a
conservation approach that is guided by the community and focuses on the
conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources through
traditional Andean approaches to agrobiodiversity and landscape