The challenges of maintaining indigenous ecological knowledge

McCarter, Joe, Gavin, Michael C., Baereleo, Sue and Love, Mark (2014) The challenges of maintaining indigenous ecological knowledge. Ecology and Society, 19 3: 39.1-39.12. doi:10.5751/ES-06741-190339

Author McCarter, Joe
Gavin, Michael C.
Baereleo, Sue
Love, Mark
Title The challenges of maintaining indigenous ecological knowledge
Journal name Ecology and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1708-3087
Publication date 2014-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5751/ES-06741-190339
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 19
Issue 3
Start page 39.1
End page 39.12
Total pages 12
Place of publication Resilience Alliance Publications
Publisher Waterloo, ON, Canada
Language eng
Subject 2303 Ecology
Abstract Increased interest in indigenous ecological knowledge (IEK) has led to concern that it is vulnerable amidst social and ecological change. In response, multiple authors have recommended the establishment of programs for the maintenance and revitalization of IEK systems. However, few studies have analyzed the methods, opportunities, and challenges of these programs. This is a critical gap, as IEK maintenance is challenging and will require layered and evidence-based solutions. We seek to build a foundation for future approaches to IEK maintenance. First, we present a systematic literature review of IEK maintenance programs (n = 39) and discuss the opportunities and challenges inherent in five broad groups of published approaches. Second, we use two case studies from the Republic of Vanuatu to illustrate these challenges in more depth. The first case study takes a community-based approach, which has inherent strengths (e.g., localized organization). It has, however, faced practical (e.g., funding) and epistemological (changing modes of knowledge transmission) challenges. The second case study seeks to facilitate IEK transmission within the formal school system. Although this model has potential, it has faced significant challenges (e.g., lack of institutional linkages). We conclude that supporting and strengthening IEK is important but that serious attention is needed to account for the social, situated, and dynamic nature of IEK. In closing, we use the review and case studies to propose four principles that may guide adaptive and flexible approaches for the future maintenance of IEK systems.
Keyword Cultural revitalisation
Indigenous ecological knowledge
Traditional ecological knowledge
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Part of a special feature on Conceptual, Methodological, Practical, and Ethical Challenges in Studying and Applying Indigenous Knowledge

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Created: Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 19:02:33 EST by Mark Love on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies