Linking local knowledge, conservation practices and ecosystem diversity: comparing two communities in the Tunari National Park (Bolivia)

Boillat, Sébastien; Mathez-Stiefel, Sarah-Lan; Rist, Stephan (2013). Linking local knowledge, conservation practices and ecosystem diversity: comparing two communities in the Tunari National Park (Bolivia). Ethnobiology and Conservation(2), p. 8. Universidade Estadual da Paraiba * Editora (EDUEP) 10.15451/ec2013-8-2.8-1-28

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Combined approaches to conserve both biological and cultural diversity are seen as
an alternative to classical nature conservation instruments. The objective of this
study was to examine the influence of urbanization coupled with exclusive
conservation measures, on land use, local knowledge and biodiversity in two
Quechua speaking communities of Bolivia located within the Tunari National Park.
We assessed and compared the links between land use, its transformation through
conservation practices, local institutions and the worldviews of both communities and
the implications they have for biodiversity at the level of ecosystems. Our results
show that in both communities, people’s worldviews and environmental knowledge
are linked with an integral and diversified use of their territory. However, the
community most affected by urbanization and protected area regulations has
intensified agriculture in a small area and has abandoned the use of large areas. This
was accompanied by a loss of local environmental knowledge and a decrease in the
diversity of ecosystems. The second community, where the park was not enforced,
continues to manage their territory as a material expression of local environmental
knowledge, while adopting community-based conservation measures with external
support. Our findings highlight a case in which urbanization coupled with exclusive
conservation approaches affects the components of both cultural and biological
diversity. Actions that aim to enhance biocultural diversity in this context should
therefore address the impact of factors identified as responsible for change in
integrated social-ecological systems.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Boillat, Sébastien-Pierre, Mathez-Stiefel, Sarah-Lan, Rist, Stephan


900 History > 910 Geography & travel
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
900 History > 980 History of South America




Universidade Estadual da Paraiba * Editora (EDUEP)


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation ; [122] Swiss Academy of Sciences




Sébastien-Pierre Boillat

Date Deposited:

31 Mar 2021 12:16

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:31

Publisher DOI:





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