People & Plants

A journey into Central Asia's biocultural diversity

A journey into Central Asia’s biocultural diversity

“We are all guests in this world, thus we have to preserve it for the future guests”
Chaman Sobirova

Project summary

In a world where governments are trending more and more to consolidate local agriculture into mass production of food for consumption, there inevitably follows a loss of biodiversity and traditional knowledge.

PEOPLE AND PLANTS is working to preserve the information and knowledge, unique connection to the land and traditional respect for the surrounding ecosystems that local farmers and traditional healers in Central Asia have acquired and passed down over many generations.

PEOPLE AND PLANTS is also a tribute to these true “heroes of biodiversity” who are, by their daily actions, preserving and sharing the beauty of nature with us while helping us to shape a better relationship with the natural world based on respect and understanding.

“Respect the land
like you respect your mother”
Shirinbek Davlatmamadov


“Love is the
source of life“
Musavar Minakov

Empower biocultural diversity heroes

Put forward the original voices of the true guardians of biodiversity: the local farmers and traditional healers. Engage and empower them in the process generating pride, respect of their work and hopefully helping creating role models for the youth.

Generate awareness and education

Creating multiaccess public presentation in the shape of a world-class multimedia exhibition, web platform and educational programs, to disseminate this knowledge and stories to the new generations.

Create an emotional archive

Using photography, multimedia professional techniques to capture and share the essence, beauty and uniqueness of the traditional plants through the perspective of the people who are actually cultivating them.

Celebrate biocultural diversity

Placing biodiversity and traditional plant beauty and benefits into the spotlight to the eye of the local concerned population and beyond.

“A plant is a living being,
it can also talk”
Mirzosho Akkobirov

Exhibitions & activities

This website is part of an extensive multimedia exhibition composed of, in its full scale format, over 100 photographs, video clips and informative pannels. This major exhibition format has been displayed recently at the National Museum of Tajikistan, in Dushanbe city. In addition, we also have a new smaller format exhibition, more mobile and easy to set up anywhere. Some pannels can be directly downloaded on demand for cultural activity or public screening for education and awareness purpose. Feel free to contact us for more details.

Through the exhibition tour and activities visitors and students are able to learn and reflect upon Central Asia´s rich biodiversity within different regions and how it shapes many facets of human life. They discover the importance of protecting and conserving biodiversity from both an ecological and social point of view. Finally they realize the value of traditional knowledge on local plants and the effort of farmers and healers to pass this information on to the new generations.

“The nature is our most critical wealth that we ought to cherish as the apple of our eyes”
Tillo Boboev

Stories map

“If you don’t love the nature, the nature will not reciprocate to you”
Mirzosho Akkobirov

Project team & contributors


Nicolas Villaume, Photographer and project leader ; Michael Van Houten, webdesigner ; Abdu Vohid Safarov, Tajikistan coordinator, Anahita ; Veronica Tabja del Solar, Education material ; Mario Segovia Guzman, Viringo, Book and postcard design.



Mario Boboev, Kulyap Botanical Garen ; A. Sharifzoda, Director of the National Museum of Tajikistan ; Shirinbek Davlatmamadov, Gulu Giyoh Association ; De Pamiri Association ; Ganji Tabia Association ; Rajabaly Karimov ; Mirzosho Akobirov ; Chaman Sobirova ; Imumyour Jalolov ; Musavvar Minakov ; Mahmud Nurov.



Almagul Osmonova, Director Taalim-Forum Public Foundation ; Dastan Karimov, video editing ; Nurmamat Saparbaev ; Egemberdi Nyshanov, “Arstanbap-Ata” Forest Users Association leader ; Bektemir Asangulov, “Min Kiyal” public fund ; Almazbek Akunov, president of Salburun federation ; KPD printing company.



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About CDM