Significance of Local Knowledge in Environmental Governance
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Significance of Local Knowledge in Environmental Governance

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Participation and Lay Knowledge in Environmental Governance - ‘Significant’? ...

Participation and Lay Knowledge in Environmental Governance - ‘Significant’?

Stakeholder’s participation is a recurrent theme of environmental governance since 1960s, when environmental politics became institutionalized within western developed countries. Scientists, interest groups, media and local protests have been significant in shaping the definition and resolution of environmental issues (Bulkeley and Mol, 2003). In contrast, Beck (1999) argued “in the face of this ‘risk society’, the conventional political institutions of modernity are increasingly…inadequate…as decision-making power, control and legitimacy increasingly locate outside the political system…which were previously considered unpolitical” (cited in Bulkeley and Mol, 2003).
Collaborative processes, has been suggested, to enable local actors to place their knowledge in the broader context of what state actors know, and vice versa (Innes et al., 2007 cited in Taylor and de Loë, 2012). Only recognizing expert knowledge as a valid basis for decision-making excludes the knowledge and experience of people who live and work in ecosystems (Taylor and Buttel, 1992 cited in Evans, 2012). On the other hand Tatenhove and Leroy (2003) argue, “we should not assume that increased involvement of stakeholders in the decision-making process is necessarily symptomatic of a loss of state power. It is vital not to …assume that a linear trend of shifts from government to governance is taking place” (Macleod and Goodwin, 1999, p.522 cited in Bulkeley and Mol, 2003)
Additionally, “contextualized knowledge, can lead to problem-specific responses that are more likely to be accepted and supported by the public. [B]ias against local knowledge highlights the critical relationship between knowledge and power in collaborative processes” (Lach et al., 2005; van Ast and Boot, 2003; Flyvbjerg, 2001; Healey, 2003 cited in Taylor and de Loë, 2012)
In summation, local knowledge is significant equally as the scientific knowledge (in some cases surpasses) in environmental decision making and planning, in the era of complex challenge imposed by climate change, to adapt and sustain (Reid et al., 2009; Few et al., 2007). Public participation from the beginning of the development planning can make the process more focused, legitimate, resource optimized and worthy (Petts and Brooks, 2006).

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Significance of Local Knowledge in Environmental Governance Significance of Local Knowledge in Environmental Governance Presentation Transcript

  • Key Debates in Environmental Governance Week-9: The Public Participation Debate Presented by: Shahadat Hossain Shakil
  • Contents • Broader Debate: Public Participation in EG Process • Sub-debate: Significance of Local/Lay Knowledge • Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change • Case Study: CBA in Vulnerable Coastal 2
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate Public Participation in EG Process - Evolution o Involvement of stakeholders and the public in policy making is a recurrent theme o Early phase (from the 1960s until the early 1980s) – • Consensual arrangements between the state and industry, informed by (certain) science, while other stakeholders and publics were left to influence events from ‘outside’ the policy making process. • Deviations from the formal model or idea of a hierarchical state o Contemporary Practices (since the early 1990s) – 3
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate Public Participation in EG Process - Positive • Collaborative processes enable local actors to place their knowledge in the broader context of what state actors know, and vice versa (Innes et al., 2004 cited in Taylor and de Loë, 2012). • Involving communities and the public in the governance makes instrumental sense, by improving the quality of decisions. Only recognizing expert knowledge as a valid basis for decision-making excludes the knowledge and experience of people who live and work in ecosystems (Taylor and Buttle, 1992 cited in Evans, 2012) 4
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Public Participation in EG Process - Negative Further Debate • Ulrich Beck (1999) argued in the face of this ‘risk society’, the conventional political institutions of modernity are increasingly irrelevant, inadequate or impotent as decisionmaking power, control and legitimacy increasingly locate outside the political system in economic, technological, scientific, community and consumption ‘sites which were previously considered unpolitical’ (cited in Bulkeley and Mol, 2003). • Exclusions can become inherent in a decision making process, as the skills and knowledge required to participate in deliberations restrict who is authorized to speak, along with what and how issues are debated (Demerrit, 2001 cited in Taylor and de Loë, 2012) • In the global South, researchers have been highly critical of5
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate Is lay knowledge as significant as scientific knowledge and expertise? Why? Definition • [h]eld by non-scientists that is based on local wisdom, experience, and practices that are adapted to the local ecosystem (Ballard et al., 2008). • Science as objective, verifiable, and tested using accepted methods is contrasted with local knowledge based on common sense and lived experience (Petts and Brooks, 6
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate Is lay knowledge as significant as scientific knowledge and expertise? Why? Positive [c]ontextualized knowledge, in turn, can lead to problemspecific responses that are more likely to be accepted and supported by the public (Lach et al., 2005; van Ast and Boot, 2003) Negative • Discounting local knowledge in a collaborative process can lead to outcomes based on imposed, coerced community consensus rather than shared understanding and ownership that collaboration is intended to achieve (Kapoor, 2001; Berkes, 2002). 7
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change Definition Community-based adaptation to community-led process, based on needs, knowledge, and capacities, people to plan for and cope with change. climate change is a communities’ priorities, which should empower the impacts of climate Combination of Knowledge • Scientific information (e.g. long-term predictions from climate change models, seasonal forecasts, information on trends based on data collected at nearby weather stations); and • Local knowledge about trends and changes experienced by8
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate CBA in Vulnerable Coastal Areas of Bangladesh – Innovation to Build Resilience Location: Satkhira District, Bangladesh Duration: March 2011-April 2013 Implemented by: Practical Action Bangladesh Funded by: Asian Development Bank Source: Google Map (Accessed: November 17, 2013) Source: Banglapedia, 2012 9
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate CBA in Vulnerable Coastal Areas of Bangladesh – Innovation to Build Resilience Project Backdrop Coastal communities of Bangladesh have been dealing with vulnerabilities with many faces : • Salt water intrusion affects their surface and ground waters • Salinity transformed their agricultural practices from ricebased to shrimp-farming-based. • Natural hazards, like cyclones and storm surges • Reduced tree coverage and damaged embankments/polders have further reduced resilience • Affect the poor and extreme poor the most, which have inadequate knowledge and technologies to adapt to 10 changing climate and to reduce their risks to disasters.
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate CBA in Vulnerable Coastal Areas of Bangladesh – Innovation to Build Resilience Activities Name Description 1. Weath er Foreca sting Board Knowled ge/ Resource Used Weakly Forecast collected by the Scientific UICO (Union Information Service Knowledg Officer) e In consultation with the local Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry Officer forecast than transformed in understandable format for the farmers. Observation s Traditional Knowledge is being obsolete due to climate variability Source: Practical Action Bangladesh and ADB, 2013 11
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate CBA in Vulnerable Coastal Areas of Bangladesh – Innovation to Build Resilience Activities Name Description 2. Rice- based Croppi ng System - Mini ponds are excavated adjacent to crop field to hold rain water and to cultivate low-saline resilient fish variety In the dry season this water is being used for irrigation Introduction of area specific cropping pattern Knowled ge/ Resourc e Used Combinati on of Indigenou s and Scientific Knowledg e Observations Saline resistant crop and fish species needs scientific input, on the other hand local requirement and resources needs to be accounted Source: Practical Action Bangladesh and ADB, 2013 12
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate CBA in Vulnerable Coastal Areas of Bangladesh – Innovation to Build Resilience Activities Name Description 3. Artifici al Aquifer Tube well - A ring well is placed beside a rainwater harvesting pond Ring well’s layers are filled with gravels and sands Water flows to the end of the well through tube People collects purified water through a hand pump Knowled ge/ Resourc e Used Combinati on of Local Practice and Area Specific Technolo gy Observations Rain water harvesting alone is not sufficient to provide safe water Source: Practical Action Bangladesh and ADB, 2013 13
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate CBA in Vulnerable Coastal Areas of Bangladesh – Innovation to Build Resilience Activities Name Description 4. Commu nity Shelter Home - - Semi-pucca house (room 18’X20’; veranda 6’X13’) Locally available materials are used Structural design allows them to withstand high-wind speed Plinth is above the highest storm surge-induced flood level Equipped with a 2000-litter rain water harvesting During disaster events serves as a community shelter Knowled Observations ge/ Resourc e Used Combinati on of Local Practice and Area Specific Technolog y High cost of cyclone shelter introduces this alternative. Local knowledge about the magnitude of the disaster and location specific building material has been utilized. Source: Practical Action Bangladesh and ADB, 2013 14
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate Scientific Knowledge Vs Lay Knowledge Accessibility, Purpose and Scale • Local people face difficulties using scientific information due to lack of accessibility and expertise • Climate models are still weak in terms of spatial and temporal scale • Data from meteorological station do not fulfill the specific and changing demand of the farmers due to climate variability, they have to rely on their own • Scientific data needs to verified with local data to ensure credibility (Christian Aid, 2009; Reid et al., 2009) 15
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate Scientific Knowledge Vs Lay Knowledge Reliance • Local communities has less confidence on scientific data in question of reliability, in contrast scientists are reluctant about local data because of subjectivity and lacking in rigorous (Gaillard and Maceda, 2009) • Gill (1991, cited in Reid et al., 2009) compared rainfall patterns recorded by Nepali farmers using rainfall calendars with the ‘real’ data recorded at the nearby weather station, and found a remarkably good fit when comparing modal rainfall. 16
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate Scientific Knowledge Vs Lay Knowledge Convergence • Murdoch and Clark (1994, cited in Taylor and de Loë, 2012) argue that it is difficult to distinguish between ‘‘people’s science’’ and ‘‘scientists’ science’’ because the knowledge that various actors possess is a result of ‘‘knowledge encounters’’ where local and scientific perspectives get mixed up. • Raymond et al. (2010) highlight the convergence of the local knowledge of farmers and scientific knowledge in Western culture due to increased participation by farmers in formal academic training and learning. • Local knowledge can also be held by scientists and 17 technicians working in local offices. Thus, individuals can
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate Findings • Local knowledge is significant equally as the scientific knowledge (in some cases exceeds) in environmental decision making and planning, in the era of complex challenge imposed by climate change, to adapt and sustain. • Public participation from the beginning of the development planning can make the process more focused, legitimate, resource optimized and worthy. 18
  • Broader Debate Subdebate CBA Case Study Analysis Further Debate Participation in True Sense ? • Often the priorities and interests of outsiders over-ride those of communities, and there is still a lot of ‘doing to’ communities, rather than communities taking charge (Reid at al., 2009; Few et.al, 2007) Linear Trend of Government to Governance ? • Tatenhove and Leroy (2003) argue, we should not assume that increased involvement of stakeholders in the decisionmaking process is necessarily symptomatic of a loss of state power. • It is vital not to confuse ‘a hollowing-out of state forms with 19
  • References: Ballard, H.L., Fernandez-Gimenez, M.E. and Sturtevant, V.E. (2008). Integration of Local Ecological Knowledge and Conventional Science: A Study of Seven Community-Based Forestry Organizations in the USA. Ecology and Society, 13(2), p.37. [online]. Available from: http://dlc.dlib.indiana.edu/dlc/bitstream/handle/10535/2424/ES-2008-2594.pdf?sequence=1 [Accessed: November 15, 2013]. Banglapedia. (2012). Satkhira District. Banglapedia - National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. [online]. Available from: http://www.banglapedia.org/HT/S_0156.htm [Accessed: November 18, 2013]. Bulkeley, H. and Mol, A.P.J. (2003). Participation and Environmental Governance: Consensus, Ambivalence and Debate. Environmental Values, 12(2), pp.143–154. [online]. Available from: http://www.erica.demon.co.uk/EV/EV1207.html [Accessed: November 17, 2013]. Christian Aid. (2009). Developing a Climate Change Analysis H. Reid et al., eds. Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) : Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change, 60, pp.141–48. [online]. Available from: http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/14573IIED.pdf [Accessed: November 15, 2013]. Evans, J.P. (2012). Participation and Politics. In Environmental Governance. Oxon: Routledge, pp. 187–209. Few, R., Brown, K. and Tompkins, E.L. (2007). Public Participation and Climate Change Adaptation: Avoiding the Illusion of Inclusion. Climate Policy, 7(1), pp.46–59. [online]. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14693062.2007.9685637 [Accessed: November 18, 2013]. Hommes, S. et al. (2008). Knowledge and Perceptions in Participatory Policy Processes: Lessons from the Delta-Region in the Netherlands. Water Resources Management, 23(8), pp.1641–1663. [online]. Available from: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11269-008-9345-6 [Accessed: November 18, 2013]. Jean Christophe Gaillard and Maceda, E.A. (2009). Participatory Three-Dimensional Mapping for Disaster Risk Reduction H. Reid et al., eds. Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) : Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change, 60, pp.109–118. [online]. Available from: http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/14573IIED.pdf 20 [Accessed: November 15, 2013].
  • References: Raymond, C.M. et al. (2010). Integrating Local and Scientific knowledge for Environmental Management. Journal of Environmental Management, 91(8), pp.1766–1777. [online]. Available from: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0301479710000952 [Accessed: October 5, 2013]. Reid, H. et al. (2009). Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change: an Overview H. Reid et al., eds. Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) : Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change, 60, pp.9–34. [online]. Available from: http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/14573IIED.pdf [Accessed: November 15, 2013]. Van Tatenhove, J.P.M. and Leroy, P. (2003). Environment and Participation in a Context of Political Modernisation. Environmental Values, 12(2), pp.155–174. [online]. Available from: http://www.erica.demon.co.uk/EV/EV1208.html [Accessed: November 17, 2013]. Taylor, B. and de Loë, R.C. (2012). Conceptualizations of Local Knowledge in Collaborative Environmental Governance. Geoforum, 43(6), pp.1207–1217. [online]. Available from: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S001671851200067X [Accessed: October 5, 2013]. Taylor, M. (2007). Community Participation in the Real World: Opportunities and Pitfalls in New Governance Spaces. Urban Studies, 44(2), pp.297–317. [online]. Available from: http://usj.sagepub.com/cgi/doi/10.1080/00420980601074987 [Accessed: November 17, 2013]. 21
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