Human Ecology

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 643–647 | Cite as

Reinterpreting Change in Traditional Ecological Knowledge

  • Erik Gómez-BaggethunEmail author
  • Victoria Reyes-García

Much research on traditional ecological knowledge (hereafter TEK) has centred in 1) documenting fading knowledge (e.g., Ferguson and Messier 1997; Pieroni et al.2004), 2) understanding the parallel changes in biological and cultural diversity (Maffi 2005; Harmon and Loh 2010), and 3) assessing the processes and drivers of change that lead to the loss of TEK (Benz et al.2000; Kingsbury 2001; Godoy et al.2005; Gray et al.2008; Turner and Turner 2008; Gómez-Baggethun 2009). The general argumentative thrust is to lament the loss of TEK among indigenous peoples and rural communities. For example, in the last decade a growing number of studies have reported changes and losses in the medicinal (Begossi et al.2002; Case et al.2005; Lozada et al.2006; Monteiro et al.2006), nutritional (Turner and Turner 2008), and agricultural (Benz et al.2007; Stone 2007; Gómez-Baggethun et al. 2010) knowledge of small-scale societies as they become more integrated in national societies and the market economy.


Market Economy Market Integration Conservation Policy Traditional Ecological Knowledge Adaptive Practice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Thanks to Pablo Domínguez and two anonymous referees for their valuable comments and criticism to a draft of this manuscript. We thank Isabelle Angelovski, Joan Martínez Alier, and our colleagues of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) for their comments and inputs provided in a seminar presentation of a draft of this paper. Reyes-Garcia also thanks Resilient Dry land Systems, ICRISAT-Patancheru for providing her with office facilities, and financial funding of an ERC Starting Grant (FP7-261971-LEK).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Gómez-Baggethun
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Victoria Reyes-García
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental Science and TechnologyUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory, Department of EcologyUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid MadridSpain
  3. 3.ICREA and Institute of Environmental Science and TechnologyUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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