Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 467–493

Ethnosciences––A step towards the integration of scientific and indigenous forms of knowledge in the management of natural resources for the future

Original Paper

Abstract

Integration of indigenous knowledge and ethnoscientific approaches into contemporary frameworks for conservation and sustainable management of natural resources will become increasingly important in policies on an international and national level, both in countries that are industrialised and those that have a developing status. We set the scene on how this can be done by exploring the key conditions and dimensions of a dialogue between ȁ8ontologiesȁ9 and the roles, which ethnosciences could play in this process. First, the roles of ethnosciences in the context of sustainable development were analysed, placing emphasis on the implications arising when western sciences aspire to relate to indigenous forms of␣knowledge. Secondly, the contributions of ethnosciences to such an ȁ8inter- ontological dialogueȁ9 were explored, based on an ethnoecological study of the encounter of sciences and indigenous knowledge in the Andes of Bolivia, and reviewed experiences from mangrove systems in Kenya, India and Sri Lanka, and from case-studies in other ecosystems world-wide, incl. Australia, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Nepal, Niger, Philippines, Senegal, South-Africa and Tanzania.

Keywords

Ethnobiology Ethnoecology Interdisciplinarity Transdisciplinarity Indigenous knowledge Ontology Epistemology Latin-America Africa Asia Oceania 

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)BernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Biocomplexity Research Team c/o Laboratory of General Botany and Nature Management, Mangrove Management GroupVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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