International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples (INMIP)
The International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples (INMIP) brings together mountain communities from 11 countries as they seek to revitalise biocultural heritage for climate-resilient and sustainable food systems. IIED provides communications, advocacy and capacity support for INMIP.
Principal researcher (biocultural heritage), Natural Resources
INMIP is an Indigenous Peoples-led network coordinated by the Peruvian indigenous NGO ANDES (Association for Nature and Sustainable Development). It aims to strengthen the resilience of indigenous mountain peoples in the face of global change by revitalising biocultural heritage, particularly spirituality, indigenous knowledge, customary laws, biodiversity and indigenous landscapes; and to advocate for policies that protect the rights of mountain indigenous peoples.
INMIP members comprise indigenous mountain communities in centres of crop diversity and domestication, and supporting NGOs and research organisations, in Bhutan, China, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand and the Philippines.
INMIP uses a 'horizontal learning' approach to promote the exchange of traditional and local knowledge between communities that are living in similar mountain agroecosystems and facing increasingly pressing climate change, biodiversity, cultural and socio-economic challenges. The network's walking workshops enable practical learning about how to address shared challenges through empowering community-led processes.
INMIP was established in Bhutan in May 2014, at the 14th Congress of the International Society for Ethnobiology (ISE). ANDES and IIED were co-chairs of the ISE Global Coalition for Biocultural Diversity, and organised a Mountain Communities Initiative workshop in Bhutan, which gave rise to the network.
The aim of the workshop was to provide concrete benefits for communities in Bhutan through an exchange that brought together indigenous mountain communities from different countries, using a ‘walking workshop’ methodology. IIED co-supported this event through its SIFOR project and with FCDO funding.
Annual learning exchanges
Since Bhutan, INMIP has held annual learning exchanges in Tajikistan, China, Peru and Kyrgyzstan, involving walking workshops in different mountain communities. These have each had a particular focus on learning from local biocultural heritage and climate adaptation work – such as revitalisation of native fruit trees in Tajikistan, customary water management in China, the Potato Park biocultural territory in Peru, and walnut forests and nomadic herders in Kyrgyzstan.
INMIP exchanges have also provided rare opportunities for equitable dialogue between indigenous mountain communities and policymakers on pressing issues such as climate change and out-migration, which is exacerbating the loss of traditional knowledge. The exchanges have also looked at the question of how to promote inter-generational knowledge transmission, and how to develop market linkages for biocultural products and services.
What is IIED doing?
IIED has helped establish this emerging network through fundraising and facilitation support; rapporteuring and producing detailed reports of each workshop to collate the evidence for a policy audience; supporting the production of INMIP declarations; organising side events at UNFCCC, UNESCO and FAO conferences; and issuing news stories and media releases with INMIP.
Declaration of the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples (INMIP): Indigenous Food Solutions to the Climate Crisis
Publication, 25 October 2021
The Maize Park Biocultural Heritage Territory in Lares, Peru. Case study guidance on biocultural heritage territories
Publication, 01 February 2020
The Apple Park and Wheat Park, Tajikistan. Case study guidance on biocultural heritage territories
Publication, 01 November 2019
Resilient Biocultural Heritage Landscapes for Sustainable Mountain Development
Publication, 01 October 2017
Biocultural Adaptation in Mountain Communities: Third INMIP International Learning Exchange, Stone Village, China
Publication, 01 October 2016
Landscape approaches for mountain community sustainable development in a time of climate change: Policy consultation and South-South exchange workshop
Publication, 01 October 2016
Landscape approaches for mountain community sustainable development in a time of climate change: Policy Consultation and South-South Exchange Workshop and INMIP Mountain Community Exchange Walking Workshop
Publication, 01 July 2016
Website: Biocultural heritage
Project: Indigenous biocultural heritage for sustainable development (2018-20)
Press release: Local farmers are key to saving world's seed diversity (2017)
Project: Smallholder innovation for resilience (SIFOR) (2012-17)
Press release: Mountain communities call for stronger action to counter climate change (2016)
Event: IIED at the IUCN World Conservation Congress (2016)
Press release: Extreme climate impacts already causing devastation in mountain communities (2015)
Photo film: Introducing Biocultural Heritage Territories (2014), IIED
Photo film: Una pelicula introduciendo a los Teritorios de Patrimonio Biocultural (Spanish language) (2014), IIED
Video: Guardians of Diversity: International climate exchange in the Potato Park, Peru (2014), IIED
Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP)
Farmers Seed Network (FSN), China
Lok Chetna Manch