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Local ecological knowledge in natural resource management Laxman Joshi, Luis Arévalo, Nelly Luque, Julio Alegre and Fergus Sinclair Bridging Scales and.

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Presentation on theme: "Local ecological knowledge in natural resource management Laxman Joshi, Luis Arévalo, Nelly Luque, Julio Alegre and Fergus Sinclair Bridging Scales and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Local ecological knowledge in natural resource management Laxman Joshi, Luis Arévalo, Nelly Luque, Julio Alegre and Fergus Sinclair Bridging Scales and Epistemologies Conference, March 2004, Alexandria, Egypt

2 Rationale Rural people depend on natural resources for their livelihood long term use depends on their ability to manage farmers are heterogeneous in terms of their management ability, objectives, dependence, local context, experience and observations In natural science, the emphasis is on practical explanatory and predictive knowledge

3 an output of learning, reasoning and perception and a basis for predictions of future events; it is peoples understanding and interpretation based on some explainable logic of supposedly general validity. Knowledge

4 Local Ecological Knowledge local peoples knowledge about elements and about processes and inter-relationship between these elements of their agro- ecosystem.

5 supernatural Local knowledge action rules, norms and values External source external perceptions decisions learning Resource endowments natural process descriptive Predicting consequences Knowledge sphere

6 Methodology Articulation and representation of local ecological knowledge to effectively incorporate local ecological knowledge and local perspective in R&D programs. Knowledge-based systems approach

7 Reported study : Indonesia Sumberjaya, South Sumatra coffee based – sun, shade and multistrata system on slopes disputed land mostly local people long farming experience

8 Reported study : Peru Pucallpa – Shipibo Conibo community fishing, hunting and gathering fruits and medicinal plants farming relatively new annual flooding (2-3 months)

9 Results – Indonesia Farmer innovations (terraces, vegetation strips, furrows and compost pits, multi-storey system) turbidity in paddy fields – nutrient source for plants but water flow must be regulated landscape scale – riverside vegetation (roots) for watershed functions Knowledge of other factors – exist but not always practised Key reasons resource (especially time and labour) constraints individual efforts not very effective insecure land tenure – uncertainty

10 Turbidity of water in fish pond Turbidity of water in paddy fields Turbidity of water in river Land suitability for different plants Soil fertility Soil organic matter Land slope Ground vegetation Leaf litter Quantity & quality Trees, bamboos and shrubs Rainfall intensity soil erosion Rain water runoff Water holding capacity of soil Interception of raindrops Soil nutrients Ground cover Rainfall duration Plant growth Root system Roots hold soil Prevents excessive drying of soil Litter decomposition shading earthworms Explanatory knowledge

11 Results – Peru Soil fertility related to post-flooding condition of soils - dark non-clayey property and organic content (indicated by crop performance) Knowledge about poor fertility indicator plants [e.g. shuashui (?), arrocillo (Rottboellia exaltata), gramalote (Brachiaria mutica) Flood tolerant and flood susceptible fruits – but much contradiction among the people Local ecological knowledge about soil resources – less sophisticated Knowledge about fishing and hunting – richer?

12 Research indicate that LEK has explanatory aspects, with a logical structure comparable to scientific understanding comes largely from experience holistic and un-disciplined notions of description, classification and fertility of soils – lacalized explanatory knowledge and underlying principles can be generalized (regularity across similar agroecosystems) knowledge may not always translate into action – other constraints LEK is not opaque - can be articulated and recorded through structured discussions with local people

13 LEK research in NRM focused development imperatives useful for three aspects: Building on local practice Recognizing sophistication of local knowledge (and terminology) for effective communication Realising its limitations – windows for improvement

14 Ecological knowledge about NRM Scientific K Local K Policy makers K bridging through dialogue, appreciation, and respect of others knowledge systems and further investigation if required three poorly connected major knowledge systems


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