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Biocultural rights

The aim of the Siemenpuu Foundation’s funding theme on Biocultural Rights is to strengthen the realisation of biocultural rights of indigenous communities and local communities by advancing the implementation of internationally acknowledged customary and traditional rights.

In the theme, Siemenpuu supports the project activities of civil society organisations in Kenya and Myanmar.

The concept of biocultural rights recognizes each community’s identity, culture, governance system, spirituality and way of life, as connected to the community’s landscape by local customs to steward its lands, waters and forests. Such rights are increasingly recognized and supported by international law. 

Siemenpuu supports initiatives and projects to strengthen indigenous communities’ biocultural diversity and their rights to live in ways which do not threaten or weaken biodiversity and ecosystems but allow them to regenerate, supporting the implementation of internationally acknowledged customary and traditional rights. The funded projects are intended to support indigenous communities’ rights to enjoy and sustain the regeneration of local ecosystems belonging to their life-heritage.

With the funded projects, Siemenpuu aims at promoting and strengthening the resilience of such ways of life, by which communities’ cultural diversity sustains biodiversity and likewise, is sustained by biodiversity according to:

  • How communities can be supported to express, document, assert or strengthen their diverse local biocultural life-heritages so that they can protect the customary and traditional rights recognised for them and sustain local diversity of life.
  • How they can best use those domestically or internationally recognised local rights to maintain and develop ways of life and activities, which make their distinctive life and livelihood sustainable, dignified and self-determined.