In developed and developing countries all over the world, indigenous farmers and communities hold traditional knowledge, expertise, skills and practices related to environmental management and food security as well as to agricultural production and diversity.
Traditional farming, fishing, pastoralism/herding, foraging and forestry are based on long established knowledge systems and practices that help to ensure food and agricultural diversity, valuable landscape and seascape features, livelihoods and food security. For millennia, these have provided rural communities with the necessary resilience to counter challenges and ensure survival. However, traditional livelihoods and indigenous plant varieties, landraces and animal breeds are now increasingly endangered by factors such as large-scale commercialization of agriculture, population dynamics, politico-economic discrimination, land-use/cover changes and the impacts of climate change.
For millennia, traditional knowledge has provided rural communities with the necessary resilience to counter challenges and ensure survival.
FAO is developing innovative projects that support indigenous communities and the use of traditional knowledge to promote rural development, gender equity, conservation of biocultural diversity, and sustainable management of agro-ecosystems, among others. At the same time, FAO's approach is to manage the risks to food security and agriculture that result from natural and human-induced disasters, such as climate change, soaring food prices and land dispossession.
FAO is also promoting international and interdisciplinary collaboration to strengthen the interface between traditional knowledge and cutting-edge science and technology, to help maintain and enhance the world’s food and agricultural diversity and sustainability.