Integrating traditional ecological knowledge into academic research at local and global scales

Abstract

Researchers have become increasingly concerned with the relation between traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and academic ecological knowledge (AEK). TEK includes complex predictive resources that often remain insufficiently reflected in ecological research, conservation practices, and ecosystem services. At the same time, knowledge integration comes with methodological and political challenges of negotiating differences between knowledge systems. In this article, we provide evidence from different scales (population, community, and ecosystems) about how TEK and AEK can be related when addressing the same phenomena. Finally, we discuss the possibilities of relating TEK and AEK through a perspective of complementarity of knowledge, taking existing differences as opportunities for dialogue.

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Acknowledgements

This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES), Finance Code 001. The contribution of the INCT Ethnobiology, Bioprospecting, and Nature Conservation, certified by CNPq, with financial support from FACEPE (Foundation for Support to Science and Technology of the State of Pernambuco; Grant number: APQ-0562-2.01/17). ISF thanks CAPES/FACEPE (PNPD program) for providing a post-doctoral scholarship (grant numbers: APQ-0700-2.05/16 and BCT-0259.22-05/17). Thanks to CNPq for the productivity grant awarded to UPA. David Ludwig’s research has been supported by an ERC Starting Grant (851004 LOCAL KNOWLEDGE) and an NWO Vidi Grant (V1.Vidi.195.026 ETHNOONTOLOGIES).

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Albuquerque, U.P., Ludwig, D., Feitosa, I.S. et al. Integrating traditional ecological knowledge into academic research at local and global scales. Reg Environ Change 21, 45 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-021-01774-2

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Keywords

  • Applied ecology
  • Conservation of nature
  • Ethnobiology
  • Local ecological knowledge