Perspectives on The Role and Use of Indigenous Knowledge in Rural And Agricultural Development


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  • Normative – claims; successful claims.
  • TEK term came into widespread use in the 1980’s (Marine Population Bulletin, 2007) and is typically ascribed to aboriginal peoples.
  • World Health Organization estimates that 80% of the world’s six billion rely on plant and animal based medicines.
  • Garett Hardin (1968) Tragedy of The Commons
  • Perspectives on The Role and Use of Indigenous Knowledge in Rural And Agricultural Development

    1. 1. Perspectives on The Role and Use of Indigenous Knowledge in Rural and Agricultural Development 鄉村與農業發展之本土知識的角色與使用的觀點 Raymond Erick Zvavanyange 艾瑞蒙 IMPA/CANR/NCHU 2011.09.29
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
    3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Different types of knowledge used in rural and agricultural development </li></ul><ul><li>Agriculture is a driver of rural development; synonymous with rural development. </li></ul><ul><li>Rural areas are a hub of knowledge, culture and diversity. </li></ul>
    4. 4. What is a Rural Area? <ul><li>A rural area is an area outside of cities. </li></ul>
    5. 5. The Context
    6. 6. What is Knowledge? <ul><li>“ Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something which can include information, facts, descriptions, and /or skills acquired through experience or education . </li></ul><ul><li>theoretical or practical understanding of a subject” </li></ul><ul><li>( http:// ) </li></ul>
    7. 7. Philosophy and Knowledge <ul><li>Study of knowledge - Epistemology (Frederik Ferrier, 1808-1868). </li></ul><ul><li>“ justified true belief - JTB” (Plato) </li></ul><ul><li>The Gettier Problem (1963) </li></ul><ul><li>Sartwell (1992) </li></ul><ul><li>There are conditions that should be met for knowledge! </li></ul>
    8. 8. Types of Knowledge <ul><li>Episteme (Scientific Knowledge) – explicit </li></ul><ul><li>Techne (Skills and Craft Knowledge) – tacit </li></ul><ul><li>Phronesis (Practical Wisdom) – high quality tacit </li></ul>
    9. 9. 7 Features of Knowledge <ul><li>Knowledge has a practical aspect. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is person bound or not. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge has a normative structure. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is internal networked. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is externally networked. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is dynamic. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge has institutional context. </li></ul>(Philosophy of the Information Society, 2008)
    10. 10. Indigenous Knowledge (IK) vs. Scientific Knowledge (SK) IK SK Traditions Institutions Culture Theoretical models Rituals Scientific methods Taboos Hypothesis testing Oral Written form
    11. 11. IK vs. SK [cont…] <ul><li>IK and SK should be complementary. </li></ul>
    12. 12. IK [cont…] <ul><li>Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Knowledge (TK) </li></ul><ul><li>Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK) </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of Living (LK) </li></ul><ul><li>Rural people’s knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Ethno biology/ethnobotany/enthnozoology </li></ul><ul><li>Ethno science/folk science/indigenous science </li></ul>
    13. 13. IK [cont…] <ul><li>TEK is “a cumulative body of knowledge and beliefs, handed down through generations by cultural transmission, about the relationship of living beings (including human beings) with another and with their environment” (Berkes, 1993). </li></ul><ul><li>TK is information that people in given community, based on experience and adaptation to a local culture and environment, have developed over time, and continue to develop . </li></ul><ul><li>IK is knowledge that is unique to a given culture or society (Manyatsi, 2011). </li></ul><ul><li>This knowledge is used to sustain the community and its culture and to maintain the genetic resources necessary for the continued survival of the community. </li></ul>
    14. 14. IK [cont…] <ul><li>Available definitions limit the scope of IK. </li></ul><ul><li>IK permeates every aspect of rural/indigenous people’s lives. </li></ul>
    15. 15. IK Features <ul><li>Collective rights and interests held by traditional communities. </li></ul><ul><li>Close in interdependence between knowledge, land, and other aspects of culture in traditional societies. </li></ul><ul><li>Oral transmission of knowledge in accordance with well understood cultural principles. </li></ul><ul><li>Rules regarding secrecy and sacredness that govern the management of knowledge. </li></ul>(Gaur and Gaur, 2004)
    16. 16. Intellectual Human Rights Instruments Addressing Intellectual Property (Hansen and VanFleet, 2003)
    17. 17. IK Application <ul><li>Healthcare </li></ul><ul><li>Animal and crop production </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Hydrological disaster management </li></ul><ul><li>Combating desertification </li></ul><ul><li>Coping with climate variability </li></ul><ul><li>Forest conservation </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated pest management </li></ul><ul><li>Plant and genetic resources management </li></ul><ul><li>Fisheries management </li></ul><ul><li>Environment management </li></ul>
    18. 18. IK [cont…] <ul><li>“ Farmers and other community members, including local innovators, possess a wealth of knowledge and experience that, given the chance, could spur community-owned development ” </li></ul>(Brigid et al., 2011)
    19. 19. Examples of TK (Hansen and VanFleet, 2003)
    20. 20. IK [cont…] (Alvaro Paz, 2011)
    21. 21. IK [cont…] (Manyatsi, 2011)
    22. 22. IK [cont…] (Manyatsi, 2011)
    23. 23. Indigenous farming systems: land-use systems <ul><li>Forest gardens </li></ul><ul><li>Shifting cultivation </li></ul><ul><li>Pastoralism </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated agriculture-aquaculture </li></ul><ul><li>( ) </li></ul>
    24. 24. Communication between LK and SK as Chance Discovery (Yumiko Nara, 2009)
    25. 25. TEK and Environmental science (Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2007)
    26. 26. It Depends on The Lens <ul><li>“ The most formidable challenge lies in finding ways to utilize local knowledge alongside natural science for management development. While most scientists acknowledge and are sympathetic regarding the utilization of local understanding, they are at most considerable doubt regarding its utility and legitimacy . As a result, the most common forms of accommodation have involved utilizing the knowledge in ways that assist scientific inquiry rather than providing some degree of alternative to it ” (Larry Felt, 2008) </li></ul>
    27. 27. Case study 1: How TEK is used in fisheries management in East Africa?
    28. 28. TEK and fisheries management in East Africa <ul><li>Strategy in inland fisheries management: restriction of access to fish resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Problem: common property resources enlightenment. </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons: What people know about their environment, and how they categorize this knowledge will obviously have an impact on what they do to the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>TEK may be utilized to suggest mitigative measures which could help top avoid or reduce inadvertent long and short term damage to the ecosystem and traditional culture. </li></ul>(Mathooko, 2005)
    29. 29. TEK [cont…] (Mathooko, 2005)
    30. 30. Common Property and Common Pool Resources <ul><li>“ On a continuum of property rights, exclusive possession (freehold) is at one end. At the other is no property, as in fisheries or the atmosphere. In between lies common property, where the rights to exploit a resource are held by people in conjunction with each other ” (Robert Wade, 1987) </li></ul>
    31. 31. Case study 2: An Interdisciplinary Assessment of the Impact of Agricultural Research
    32. 32. An Interdisciplinary Assessment of Impact of Agricultural Research (Meinzen-Dick et al., 2004)
    33. 33. (Meinzen-Dick et al., 2004) Factors Affecting Technology Adoption
    34. 34. Lessons from Case Study 2 <ul><li>Knowledge is needed to design research that benefit poor people. </li></ul><ul><li>Dissemination methods are important for adoption. </li></ul><ul><li>New partnerships should be encouraged. </li></ul>(Meinzen-Dick et al., 2004)
    35. 35. Case study 3:Conservation of forest resources by Aka tribes of Arunchal Pradesh, India
    36. 36. Conservation of forest resources by Aka tribe in India - Practices <ul><li>Traditional methods of fishing. </li></ul><ul><li>They spare small fish even when caught. </li></ul><ul><li>Sacred grooves (Nowu-Husu View) – unseen supernatural power. </li></ul><ul><li>Mountain (Vojo phu) – prohibit extraction of forest materials. </li></ul>(Nimachow et al., 2011)
    37. 37. Summary <ul><li>Rural practices are diverse. </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous people value knowledge and pay attention to outside knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Seek to understand rural people’s first. </li></ul><ul><li>Rural practices woven with checks and balances. </li></ul>
    38. 38. Conclusions <ul><li>IK is not restricted to TEK. </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous people manage local resources better without external influence. </li></ul><ul><li>IK needs formal recognition as a discipline and practice. </li></ul>
    39. 39. E-mail: [email_address] Blog: http:// Twitter: @zvavanyanger3 Skype Name: zvavanyanger3 Face Book: