The Walking Workshop methodology and the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples (INMIP) as examples of MEB in practice; INMIP vision and objectives.

The Walking Workshop methodology and the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples (INMIP) as examples of MEB in practice; INMIP vision and objectives.

Alejandro ARGUMEDO (Canada)


Indigenous mountain communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. According to the IPCC, temperatures are rising at disproportionately higher rates at higher altitudes; these changes are having serious impacts on mountain ecosystems and indigenous peoples. Nonetheless, indigenous peoples’ Biocultural heritage offers great potential for adaptation because of its rich traditional knowledge, which has nurtured a wealth of adaptation mechanisms and high degree of diversity of species and ecological niches. Indigenous peoples’ biocultural heritage, including a rich diversity of locally adapted seeds and traditional knowledge, offers great potential for adaptation.  Therefore, with the support from the IIED and Asociacion ANDES, in May 2014, representatives from 25 indigenous mountain communities from 10 countries, met in Bhutan to discuss the impacts of climate change and exchange knowledge and experiences for adaptation based on biocultural heritage and local seed systems. More than 70 farmers and local organizations took part, from Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Peru, Taiwan, Tajikistan and Thailand to create the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples. A follow up learning exchange workshop took place in Tajikistan in October consolidate the Network as an international network, and to deepen the knowledge exchange on the impacts of climate change on indigenous mountain communities and how such communities can respond using their biocultural heritage.  With the help of my colleagues Krystyna Swiderska from IIED, and Lino Mamani from The Potato Park we would like to lead a discussion to present on adaptive strategies for climate change that were discussed in both workshops. Krystyna and myself will will focus on the importance of this Network that has been created with these different mountain communities which includes the importance of establishing Biocultural Heritage Territories and Community Seed Banks. We would also like to present on the Potato Park as our main case study. The discussion about the Park, which is comprised of 5 Quechua indigenous communities will be led by a community resident named Lino. He will further discuss the current impacts of climate change on the livelihoods of these communities and how the Network with other indigenous communities is helping his community adapt to climate change.



Dr. Alejandro Argumedo is the Director of the Asociacion ANDES, a Cusco-based indigenous peoples’ non-governmental organization working to protect and develop indigenous peoples’ Biocultural Heritage. Alejandro is also founder and coordinator of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative (IPCCA). He is founder of the Indigenous Peoples’ Biodiversity Network (IPBN), and the Call of the Earth Group,  global coalitions of indigenous peoples working towards the shared goals of protecting and nurturing biodiversity and protecting their bio-cultural innovations and intellectual property. He is the current President of the Global Coalition for Biocultural Diversity of the International Society of Ethnobiology, former Executive Director of Cultural Survival Canada and the Indigenous Knowledge Program. He graduated from McGill University, Montreal, Canada in Agriculture. Alejandro has written extensively on diverse themes such as biocultural heritage, genetic resources and community-based conservation, sustainable  agriculture, climate change, protected landscapes, has served in expert panels of the UN and other relevant bodies, and has been consultant for various international institutions.

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