Sustainability Science

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 69–89 | Cite as

Indigenous ecological calendars define scales for climate change and sustainability assessments

  • Ferdouz V. Cochran
  • Nathaniel A. Brunsell
  • Aloisio Cabalzar
  • Pieter-Jan van der Veld
  • Evaristo Azevedo
  • Rogelino Alves Azevedo
  • Roberval Araújo Pedrosa
  • Levi J. Winegar
Special Feature: Case Report Weaving Indigenous and Sustainability Sciences to Diversify Our Methods (WIS2DOM)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Feature: Weaving Indigenous and Sustainability Sciences to Diversify Our Methods (WIS2DOM)

Abstract

Identifying appropriate temporal and spatial boundaries for assessments of human–environment systems continues to be a challenge in sustainability science. The livelihood of Indigenous peoples in the northwestern Brazilian Amazon are characterized by complex ecological management systems entwined with sociocultural practices and sophisticated astronomical and ecological calendars. Sustainability of fisheries and bitter manioc production, key elements of food systems and economic activities in this region, depend on cyclic high river levels for fish spawning as well as periods of dry days for preparation of agricultural fields. Since 2005, participatory research has been underway between Indigenous communities of the Tiquié River and the Brazilian Socio-environmental Institute (ISA). Indigenous agents of environmental management (AIMAs) keep notebooks of ethno-astronomical, ecological, and socio-economic observations of the annual cycles, and some of them have reported that river levels and dry periods have become more irregular in some years. To investigate how these possible climatic changes may impact the sustainability of resources, we share knowledge from the Tukano ecological calendar with methodology for examining changes in precipitation and river levels and their interactions at multiple timescales. Our collaboration indicates that high spatial and temporal variability in precipitation patterns and river levels may complicate climate change and sustainability analyses. However, combining results from participatory research with novel methods for climate analysis helps identify a 4-day trend in precipitation that may impact agroecosystem management. Indigenous participation in systematic data collection and interpretation of results is essential for distinguishing between socio-economic and climate forcings and evaluating climate impacts. Continued efforts to bridge Indigenous and Western knowledge systems are vital for sustainable environmental management in Indigenous territories and other regions where traditional management may be challenged in the context of global climate change.

Keywords

Northwest Amazon Tukanoan Indigenous peoples Ecological calendar Climate services Temporal scales Knowledge coexistence 

References

  1. Alexander C, Bynum N, Johnson E, King U, Mustonen T, Neofotis P, Oettlé N, Rosenzweig C, Sakakibara C, Shadrin V, Vicarelli M, Waterhouse J, Weeks B (2011) Linking indigenous and scientific knowledge of climate change. Bioscience 61:477–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Armitage D, Berkes F, Dale A, Kocho-Schellenberg E, Patton E (2011) Co-management and the co-production of knowledge: learning to adapt in Canada’s Arctic. Glob Environ Change 21:995–1004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ball J, Janyst P (2008) Enacting research ethics in partnerships with indigenous communities in Canada: “Do it in a Good Way”. JERHRE 3:33–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bayley PB (1995) Understanding large river-floodplain ecosystems. Bioscience 45(3):153–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berkes, F (2013) Bridging Sustainability and Indigenous Science. Workshop paper in: Weaving Indigenous and Sustainability Sciences: Diversifying our Methods (WIS2DOM) Workshop. National Science Foundation Arctic Social Sciences Program, Appendix 3, pp 27–32Google Scholar
  6. Berkes F, Reid WV, Wilbanks TJ, Capistrano D (2006) Bridging scales and knowledge systems. In: Bridging scales and knowledge systems: Concepts and applications in ecosystem assessment. Millennium ecosystem assessment and Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  7. Brewer JP II, Kronk Warner EA (2015) Guarding Against Exploitation: Protecting Indigenous Knowledge in the Age of Climate Change. University of Kansas, School of Law Working Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2567995
  8. Brunsell NA (2010) A multiscale information theory approach to assess spatial-temporal variability of daily precipitation. J Hydrol 385(1–4):165–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cabalzar A (2010) Manejo do Mundo: conhecimentos e práticas indígenas dos povos do Rio Negro. São Paulo: Instituto Socioambiental and São Gabriel da Cachoeira: Federação das Organizações Indígenas do Rio NegroGoogle Scholar
  10. Cabalzar A (2013) Organização socioespacial e predomínios linguísticos no rio Tiquié. In: Epps, P and Stenzel, K. (Org) Upper Rio Negro: cultural and linguistic interaction in Northwestern Amazonia. 1ed. Rio de Janeiro: Museu do Índio FUNAI, Museu Nacional, pp 129–162Google Scholar
  11. Cardoso TM (2010) O Saber Biodiverso: práticas e conhecimentos na agricultura indígena do baixo rio Negro. Universidade Federal do Amazonas, ManausGoogle Scholar
  12. Casimirri G (2003) Problems with integrating traditional ecological knowledge into contemporary resource management. XII World Forestry Congress, Quebec CityGoogle Scholar
  13. Chernela JM (1994) Tukanoan fishing. National Geographical Research and Exploration 10Google Scholar
  14. Clark WC, Dickson NM (2003) Sustainability Science: The Emerging Research Program. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100(14):8059–8061CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cochran FV, Brunsell NA (2012) Temporal scales of tropospheric CO2, precipitation, and ecosystem responses in the central Great Plains. Remote Sens Environ 127(C):316–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davis M (2006) Bridging the Gap or Crossing a Bridge? In: Bridging scales and knowledge systems: Concepts and applications in ecosystem assessment. Millennium ecosystem assessment and Island Press, Washington, DC, pp 143–163Google Scholar
  17. De’ath G, Fabricius K (2000) Classification and regression trees: a powerful yet simple technique for ecological data analysis. Ecology 81(11):3178–3192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Emperaire L, Peroni N (2007) Traditional management of agrobiodiversity in Brazil: a case study of Manioc. Hum Ecol 35(6):761–768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fischer J, Manning AD, Steffen W, Rose DB, Daniell K, Felton A, Garnett S, Gilna B, Heinsohn R, Lindenmayer DB, MacDonald B, Mills F, Newell B, Reid J, Robin L, Sherren K, Wade A (2007) Mind the sustainability gap. Trends Ecol Evol 22(12):621–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fraser JA (2010) The Diversity of Bitter Manioc (Manihot Esculenta Crantz) Cultivation in a Whitewater Amazonian Landscape. Diversity 2(4):586–609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Getirana ACV, Bonnet MP, Rotunno Filho OC, Collischonn W, Guyot JL, Seyler F, Mansur WJ (2010) Hydrological modelling and water balance of the Negro River basin: evaluation based on in situ and spatial altimetry data. Hydrol Process 24(22):3219–3236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Getirana ACV, Espinoza JCV, Ronchail J, Filho OCR (2011) Assessment of different precipitation datasets and their impacts on the water balance of the Negro River basin. J Hydrol 404(3–4):304–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gloor M, Brienen RJW, Galbraith D, Feldpausch TR, Schöngart J, Guyot JL, Espinoza JC, Lloyd J, Phillips OL (2013) Intensification of the Amazon hydrological cycle over the last two decades. Geophys Res Lett 40(9):1729–1733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gouhier T, Grinsted A (2014) biwavelet: Conduct univariate and bivariate wavelet analyses, R package version 0.17.3 ednGoogle Scholar
  25. Goulding M, Carvalho M, Ferreira E (1988) Rio Negro: Rich Life in Poor Water. SPB Academic Publishing, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  26. Guston DH (2001) Boundary organizations in environmental policy and science: an introduction. Sci Technol Hum Values 26:399–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hewitt C, Mason S, Walland D (2012) The global framework for climate services. Nat Clim Change 2:831–832CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Huntington HP (2000) Using traditional ecological knowledge in science: methods and applications. Ecol Appl 10(5):1270–1274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Johnson M (1992) LORE: Capturing Traditional Environmental Knowledge. Dene Cultural Institute and the International Development Research Centre, Hay RiverGoogle Scholar
  30. Johnson JT, Murton B (2007) Re/placing native science: indigenous voices in contemporary constructions of nature. Geogr Res 45:121–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Johnson JT, Louis RP, Kliskey A (2013) Weaving Indigenous and Sustainability Sciences: Diversifying our Methods (WIS2DOM) Workshop. National Science Foundation Arctic Social Sciences Program, pp 1–116Google Scholar
  32. Juarez RIN, Li W, Fu R, Fernandes K, Cardoso ADO (2009) Comparison of precipitation datasets over the tropical South American and African Continents. J Hydrometeorol 10:289–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Junk WJ, Soares MGM, Saint-Paul U (1997) The Central Amazon floodplain: ecology of a pulsing system. Springer, Berlin, pp 385–408Google Scholar
  34. Kates RW (2011) What kind of a science is sustainability science? Proc Natl Acad Sci 108:19449–19450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kumar P, Foufoula-Georgiou E (1997) Wavelet analysis for geophysical applications. Rev Geophys 34(4):385–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. LaDuke W (1994) Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Futures. Colo. J. Int’l Envtl. L. & Pol’y 5, p 127Google Scholar
  37. Lang DJ, Wiek A, Bergmann M, Stauffacher M, Martens P, Moll P, Swilling M, Thomas CJ (2012) Transdisciplinary research in sustainability science: practice, principles, and challenges. Sustain Sci 7(S1):25–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Langerwisch F, Rost S, Gerten D, Poulter B, Rammig A, Cramer W (2013) Potential effects of climate change on inundation patterns in the Amazon Basin. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 17(6):2247–2262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lau K, Weng H (1995) Climate signal detection using wavelet transform: how to make a time series sing. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 76(12):2391–2402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lefale P (2003) Seasons in Samoa. Water Atmos 11(2):10–11Google Scholar
  41. Lertzman DA (2010) Best of two worlds: traditional ecological knowledge and Western science in ecosystem-based management. BC J Ecosyst Manag 10(3):104–126Google Scholar
  42. Liu Y, San Liang X, Weisberg RH (2007) Rectification of the bias in the wavelet power spectrum. J Atmos Ocean Technol 24:2093–2102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Marengo JA (2004) Characteristics and spatio-temporal variability of the Amazon River Basin Water Budget. Clim Dyn 24(1):11–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Marengo JA (2007) Tropical rainforest responses to climate change, chapter climate change and hydrological modes of the wet tropics. Springer, Berlin, pp 236–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Marengo JA, Nobre CA, Tomasella J, Oyama MD, Sampaio de Oliveira G, de Oliveira R, Camargo H, Alves LM, Brown IF (2008) The Drought of Amazonia in 2005. J Clim 21(3):495–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Marengo JA, Tomasella J, Soares WR, Alves LM, Nobre CA (2011) Extreme climatic events in the Amazon basin. Theor Appl Climatol 107(1–2):73–85Google Scholar
  47. Mayer AL (2008) Strengths and weaknesses of common sustainability indices for multidimensional systems. Environ Int 34(2):277–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mazzocchi F (2008) Analyzing knowledge as part of a cultural framework: the case of traditional ecological knowledge. Environ J 36(2):39–57Google Scholar
  49. McNie EC (2013) Delivering climate services: organizational strategies and approaches for producing useful climate-science information. Wea Clim Soc 5:14–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Moran EF (1991) Human adaptive strategies in amazonian blackwater ecosystems. Am Anthropol 93:361–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Nadasdy P (1999) The Politics of Tek: Power and the “Integration” of Knowledge. Arctic Anthropol 36(½):1–18Google Scholar
  52. Nakashima DJ, Galloway McLean K, Thrulstrup HD, Ramos Castillo A, Rubis J (2012) Weathering uncertainty: traditional knowledge for climate change assessment and adaptation. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  53. Palm C, Tomich T, van Noordwijk M, Vosti S, Gockowski J, Alegre J, Verchot L (2003) Mitigating GHG emissions in the humid tropics: case studies from the Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn Program (ASB). Environ Dev Sustain 6:145–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Petheram L, Zander KK, Campbell BM, High C, Stacey N (2010) ‘Strange changes’: Indigenous perspectives of climate change and adaptation in NE Arnhem land (Australia). Glob Environ Change 20(4):681–692CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Potter C, Klooster S, Hiatt C, Genovese V, Castilla-Rubio JC (2011) Changes in the carbon cycle of Amazon ecosystems during the 2010 drought. Environ Res Lett 6(3):034024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. RAISG (2012) Amazônia 2012. Áreas Protegidas, Territórios Indígenas: http://raisg.socioambiental.org/
  57. Raymond CM, Fazey I, Reed MS, Stringer LC, Robinson GM, Evely AC (2010) Integrating local and scientific knowledge for environmental management. J Environ Manag 91:1766–1777CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Riedlinger D, Berkes F (2001) Contributions of traditional knowledge to understanding climate change in the Canadian Arctic. Polar Rec 37:315–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Roberts M (1996) Indigenous knowledge and western science: perspectives from the Pacific. R Soc N Z Misc Ser 50:69–75Google Scholar
  60. Ruddell BL, Kumar P (2009) Ecohydrologic process networks: 2. Analysis and characterization. Water Resour Res 45(3):1–14Google Scholar
  61. Salick J, Ross N (2009) Traditional peoples and climate change (Introduction to Special Issue). Glob Environ Change 19:137–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sánchez-Cortés MS, Chavero EL (2011) Indigenous perception of changes in climate variability and its relationship with agriculture in a Zoque community of Chiapas, Mexico. Clim Change 107:363–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Satyamurty P, da Costa CPW, Manzi AO, Candido LA (2013) A quick look at the 2012 record flood in the Amazon Basin. Geophys Res Lett. doi:10.1002/grl.50245 Google Scholar
  64. Smith HA, Sharp K (2012) Indigenous climate knowledges. WIREs Clim Change 3:467–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Spracklen DV, Arnold SR, Taylor CM (2012) Observations of increased tropical rainfall preceded by air passage over forests. Nature 489(7415):282–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Stoy PC, Richardson AD, Baldocchi DD, Katul GG, Stanovick J, Mahecha MD, Reichstein M, Detto M, Law BE, Wohlfahrt G, Arriga N, Campos J, McCaughey JH, Montagnani L, KTP U, Sevanto S, Williams M (2009) Biosphere-atmosphere exchange of CO2 in relation to climate: a cross-biome analysis across multiple time scales. Biogeosciences 6:2297–2312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Therneau TM, Atkinson B, Ripley B (2010) rpart: Recursive partitioning, R package version 3.8 ednGoogle Scholar
  68. Torrence C, Compo GP (1998) A practical guide to wavelet analysis. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 79(1):61–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Tyler NJC, Turi JM, Sundset MA, Strøm Bull K, Sara MN, Reinert E, Oskal N, Nellemann C, McCarthy JJ, Mathiesen SD, Martello ML, Magga OH, Hovelsrud GK, Hanssen-Bauer I, Eira NI, Eira IMG, Corell RW (2007) Saami reindeer pastoralism under climate change: applying a generalized framework for vulnerability studies to a sub-arctic social–ecological system. Glob Environ Change 17:191–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. van der Ent RJ, Savenije HHG, Schaefli B, Steele-Dunne SC (2010) Origin and fate of atmospheric moisture over continents. Water Resour Res 46(9):1–12Google Scholar
  71. van der Veld P-J (2014) A agricultura indígena do Alto e Médio Rio Negro. AGRÁRIA. In ReviewGoogle Scholar
  72. Veleda D, Montagne R, Araujo M (2012) Cross-wavelet bias corrected by normalizing scales. J Atmos Ocean Technol 29(9):1401–1408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Waliser DE, Moncrieff MW, Burridge D, Fink AH, Gochis D, Goswami BN, Guan B, Harr P, Heming J, Hsu H-H, Jakob C, Janiga M, Johnson R, Jones S, Knippertz P, Marengo J, Nguyen H, Pope M, Serra Y, Thorncroft C, Wheeler M, Wood R, Yuter S (2012) The “Year” of tropical convection (May 2008–April 2010): climate variability and weather highlights. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 93(8):1189–1218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Whyte KP (2013) Justice forward: tribes, climate adaptation and responsibility. Clim Change 120:517–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Wohl E, Barros A, Brunsell N, Chappell NA, Coe M, Giambelluca T, Goldsmith S, Harmon R, Hendrickx JMH, Juvik J, McDonnell J, Ogden F (2012) The hydrology of the humid tropics. Nat Clim Change 2(9):655–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wood H (1999) Displacing Natives: the Rhetorical Production of Hawai‘i Pacific Formations. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, LanhamGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ferdouz V. Cochran
    • 1
  • Nathaniel A. Brunsell
    • 1
  • Aloisio Cabalzar
    • 2
  • Pieter-Jan van der Veld
    • 2
  • Evaristo Azevedo
    • 3
  • Rogelino Alves Azevedo
    • 4
  • Roberval Araújo Pedrosa
    • 3
  • Levi J. Winegar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  2. 2.Instituto SocioambientalSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Associação das Comunidades Indígenas do Médio Tiquié (ACIMET)São Gabriel da CachoeiraBrazil
  4. 4.Associação da Escola Indígena Tukano Yupuri (AEITY)São Gabriel da CachoeiraBrazil

Personalised recommendations