Biocultural Design as a Tool to Identify Livelihood Opportunities

Date and Time: 
Friday, 10 May, 2019 - 14:00 to 14:15
, Mariana - University of Manitoba
, Iain - University of Manitoba

Cocoa agroforestry systems (CAFS) are a type of managed ecosystem for which cultural, economic, and ecological importance is significant. In the Talamanca region of Costa Rica, conservation and development programs have recognized the importance of CAFS, leading to the implementation of projects focused on improving cocoa yields. Despite these efforts, CAFS have spatially declined in recent years. We present our work with Bribri community members to undertake a biocultural design project. Biocultural design is a process that begins with understanding the capabilities of biocultural heritage, in this case, associated with CAFS, as well as people´s needs, values, and aspirations. We present the results of the process through three phases: inspiration (identification of problem or opportunity), ideation (generation of ideas), and implementation (execution of prototypes). Biocultural design provides an approach that allows creativity to emerge out of the capabilities found within biocultural heritage to support new livelihood opportunities.