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Paula
Castro
&
Rolf
Lidskog
DEVELOPING ROBUST
ADAPTATION STRATEGIES: THE
IMPORTANCE OF PLACE AND
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
Adaptation solutions for
environmental problems
(CC, biodiversity, etc)
 negotiated and
established at a
global or multi-...
research has
shown how
 PLACE
relations
crucially
matter
for CC and
biodiversity
adaptation
(Adger et al.,
2012;
Raymond ...
Seeing local knowledge as
knowledge enables:
 A better understanding of what it
has to offer for adaptation
 A further r...
IN SUM: local knowledge should not be a missing link
This presentation: we claim that
 Local knowledge is proper knowledg...
Addressing that missing link:
 we will investigate the role of place/local knowledge by
drawing on
1. Focus groups with f...
 strategies for which local knowledge is central:
1. BLATANT RESISTANCE
 active refusal
 Self/local reliance
2. RE-INTE...
 Active refusal to listen &… to share knowledge
 ”Why should I listen to them, when they are not listening to me?”
(fore...
 Relativising expert knowledge and presenting it as falible
- helps opening space for local knowledge (e.g. shared, or
co...
 Anchoring – experts’ recommendations are
 accepted – with arguments anchored in local knowledge and
experience
 “I can...
 Anchoring – experts’ recommendations are
 refused – with arguments anchored in local knowledge and
social memory
 “old...
 Farmers and forest owners actively evaluate, re-
negotiate and re-signify expert recommendations for
CC adaptation
 Thi...
 To be useful and used, expert knowledge always has to go
through a process of appropriation
 this appropriation takes p...
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Developing robust adaptation strategies: the importance of embodied knowledge, local knowledge and place attachment, Paula Castro & Rolf Lidskog

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P. Castro (ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal), at the Our Common Future Under Climate Change conference, July 7-10 in Paris, France.

More at http://www.commonfuture-paris2015.org/

Published in: Science
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Developing robust adaptation strategies: the importance of embodied knowledge, local knowledge and place attachment, Paula Castro & Rolf Lidskog

  1. 1. Paula Castro & Rolf Lidskog DEVELOPING ROBUST ADAPTATION STRATEGIES: THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACE AND LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
  2. 2. Adaptation solutions for environmental problems (CC, biodiversity, etc)  negotiated and established at a global or multi- national level (e.g. - global CC protocols, EU Natura 2000) BUT  implemented… …and often resisted In specific places – i.e. at the local level This has contributed to 1. The emergence of a network of actors bound by  the need to reflect on and act in place (residents, experts, farmers, local authorities, etc) BUT situated at different levels and with different interests 2. A renewed interest in place – more research about People-place relations THE GLOBAL-LOCAL PARADOX
  3. 3. research has shown how  PLACE relations crucially matter for CC and biodiversity adaptation (Adger et al., 2012; Raymond et al, 2014; Fresque- Baxter & Armitage, 2012) RELATIONS TO PLACE ADAPTATION AND RELATIONS TO PLACE  Studied with a plethora of concepts  local identity, place attachment, place dependence, sense of place, etc  expressing 4 main dimensions – 1. shared understandings (beliefs, norms, memories) 2. identity motives (continuity, self-esteem) 3. affective responses (attachment) 4. behavioural competencies (control) What seems to be MISSING: 1. Relations to place as expressing also local knowledge 2. local knowledge as knowledge
  4. 4. Seeing local knowledge as knowledge enables:  A better understanding of what it has to offer for adaptation  A further re-thinking of the scientific knowledge - local knowledge relations  as they are expressed  in specific places  by specific groups  regarding specific problems A missing link: local knowledge seen as  proper or real knowledge  Not just as belief, or culture, and contrasted with the “real” scientific knowledge  LK as encompassing information and experience (Scott, 2004)  As a “knowing by way of practice” (Ingold, 2011) ADAPTATION AND RELATIONS TO PLACE
  5. 5. IN SUM: local knowledge should not be a missing link This presentation: we claim that  Local knowledge is proper knowledge  local farmers/ forest owners/ fisherman / etc - evaluate and re-signify expert/scientific advice by resorting to:  Cultural, affective, attachment lenses, but also to  local knowledge SO, in sum – local knowledge  is an important input in itself for adaptation  AND also provides AN IMPORTANT lense with which (and through which) scientific/expert knowledge  is locally assessed, criticized and resisted –  and sometimes is even absorbed and accepted Place/ local know- ledge as proper know- ledge ADAPTATION AND LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
  6. 6. Addressing that missing link:  we will investigate the role of place/local knowledge by drawing on 1. Focus groups with farmers (n=50) in rural Natura 2000 sites in Portugal. 2. Interviews with small-scale forest owners and local forest consultants (N=35) in Sweden ALL discussing measures for a central goal in EU policy - addressing “biodiversity loss and climate change in an integrated manner” (European Commission, pg.3). OUR STUDIES
  7. 7.  strategies for which local knowledge is central: 1. BLATANT RESISTANCE  active refusal  Self/local reliance 2. RE-INTERPRETATION (attaching new meaning to recommendations)  Balancing  Relativising expert knowledge 3. ANCHORING (integrating experts’ recomendations in local knowledge)  For accepting them  For refusing them FINDINGS How are scientific knowledge and expert recommendations addressing biodiversity loss and climate change locally dealt with and re-interpreted?
  8. 8.  Active refusal to listen &… to share knowledge  ”Why should I listen to them, when they are not listening to me?” (forest owner, Sweden)  “for the experts, we do not matter, they have the knowledge, and we simply come with the land. And so we say “Am I going to talk to someone who thinks I count for nothing?”. And so I don’t do/say anything.”(Farmer, Portugal)  Self/local reliance (WE-THEY accentuation, Trust in own experience- based and practical knowledge)  ”I know my land and how to manage it much better then they do”  ”All others in my area do it in this way” (forest owner, Sweden)  “Those inside the propriety, inside the exploration, they know what are the more productive parts, what are the less productive ones, (…), and what land is good for what.” (Portugal, farmer) 1. BLATANT RESISTANCE STRATEGIES
  9. 9.  Relativising expert knowledge and presenting it as falible - helps opening space for local knowledge (e.g. shared, or common, knowledge)  it has fluctuated, since a number of times, what was wrong 25 years ago might be right today. I think you must try to have some common sense ... (forest owner, Sweden).  It's more that, since nothing is black or white in the forest, it's advantages and disadvantage but one can do in many ways and still do right, so it's more with that idea in mind. Nothing is necessarily wrong, but you might want to do in your way (forest owner, Sweden)  JC: we follow the rules, just as the experts tell us …but then what happens is the (protected) birds end up dying, because the experts do not know the reality of the land…”(Farmer, Portugal) 2. RE-INTERPRETATION STRATEGIES
  10. 10.  Anchoring – experts’ recommendations are  accepted – with arguments anchored in local knowledge and experience  “I can see in my property that soil erosion is a serious problem in this region (…). My neighbor, I saw he worked the land the old way, then the rains came, and his land went to the Atlantic ocean… (…) Direct sowing is complicated in our region, but (Natura) compensations can help. ”(farmer, Portugal)  Spruce forests are extremely vulnerable. If you mix (as experts advise) with pine and birch you will, for several reasons, have a more robust forest…. Variation creates resistance against forest threats (forest owners, Sweden) 3. ANCHORING STRATEGIES
  11. 11.  Anchoring – experts’ recommendations are  refused – with arguments anchored in local knowledge and social memory  “old people always told us that the (iberian) lynxs used old hollow oak trees to hide and hide their small ones; Today we see that there are no such trees anymore, they died from the (oak) disease, or were burned in the last fire (unstated conclusion: there are reasons for refusing expert’s claim that lynxs will survive there) ”(farmer, Portugal)  Even if the experts tell us that we should plant other tree species than spruce in order to adapt to climate change, we on the ground know that in practice, spruce growth best and other tree species are much more sensitive for wildlife grazing and pests (forest owner, Sweden). 3. ANCHORING STRATEGIES
  12. 12.  Farmers and forest owners actively evaluate, re- negotiate and re-signify expert recommendations for CC adaptation  This is done through different strategies, which all relate to place and local knowledge  This opens space for re-significations and re- contextualisations of expert recommendations  Thus, local knowledge is not only an important input in itself for adaptation  but also provides an important lens through which scientific knowledge is locally assessed, criticized, resisted and sometimes even absorbed and accepted CONCLUSION
  13. 13.  To be useful and used, expert knowledge always has to go through a process of appropriation  this appropriation takes place from the vantage point afforded by previous local knowledges  It is not knowledge as a product or property, but knowledge as practice and process that matters  focussing on how expert knowledge is appropriated in different settings brings the knowers and their knowing to the centre  and this is an important step towards developing adaptive strategies and measures to be implemented locally LESSONS TO LEARN

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