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

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.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Marie-Jeanne Weyrich and Anthony Vann (University of Huddersfield, UK) for the English proof reading. The first author acknowledges the support from the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North–South: Research Partnerships for Mitigating Syndromes of Global Change, co-funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), making possible the joint elaboration of the present paper. The corresponding author is a Postdoctoral Researcher of the Fund for Scientific Research (FWO-Vlaanderen) and works within the objectives of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), Past Global Changes (PAGES) Focus 5 : Past Ecosystem Processes and Human-Environment Interactions.

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Rist, S., Dahdouh-Guebas, F. Ethnosciences––A step towards the integration of scientific and indigenous forms of knowledge in the management of natural resources for the future. Environ Dev Sustain 8, 467–493 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-006-9050-7

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Keywords

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