7 Recommendations For Incorporating Indigenous Perspectives Into Biodiversity Conservation


Published:

Academic researchers and local experts walk with the bees in the forest surrounding the Hin Lad Nai community in Thailand.

Courtesy of J. Bumroongchai

When it comes to conservation, it’s tempting to think that science is the only guide to good policy. But biodiversity is linked to culture, argues a new study on pollinator conservation recently published in Nature Sustainability, so we should embrace a diversity of knowledge systems, acknowledging both academic science and traditional cultural practices.

“Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ knowledge is really grounded in evidence collected over centuries,” says Rosemary Hill, lead author on the study and a principal research scientist with CSIRO, Australia’s national science research agency.

The paper — which builds on the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) — explores how indigenous and local communities around the world approach the conservation of pollinators like bees, birds and bats. Academic researchers reviewed academic and community writings about traditional knowledge pertaining to pollinators, while participating indigenous and local people held dialogues in their communities to decide which parts of their cultural practices to share.

The result is a list of seven policy recommendations for protecting pollinators and respecting the practices of deeply rooted communities that can be applied, not just to pollinator conservation, but to conservation issues more broadly:

  1. Require informed consent from indigenous people and local communities for conservation and development initiatives. As an example, the researchers point to India’s Forest Rights Act, which they say has ensured forest access for indigenous honey hunters, thus helping to sustain indigenous communities’ knowledge about bee conservation.
  2. Support customary land management practices. Allowing indigenous people to manage land according to their own practices can strengthen traditional practices that help conservation.
  3. Bolster indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs). These ecosystems are voluntarily conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities with a focus on traditional practices and customs.
  4. Bring together different forms of knowledge. Efforts to monitor pollinator populations, for example, should consider local indigenous metrics as well as the ways science tracks trends, since people relate to their environment in different ways.
  5. Promote listing of heritage sites. International organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) document cultural and natural heritage around the world, and the awareness that heritage listing brings to landmarks, areas and cultural practices can aid conservation. The UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, for instance, lists the traditional knowledge of the Totonac people, an indigenous group in Mexico. Totonac agroforestry protects pollinator habitat and stingless beekeeping.
  6. Foster environmentally friendly beekeeping. With support from governments, traditional beekeeping practices can sustain people’s livelihoods.
  7. Champion food sovereignty. Food sovereignty pushes back on industrial agriculture in favor of local farming and agroecological approaches. The researchers say this helps keep landscapes varied and limits use of agrochemicals.

Pasang Dolma Sherpa, executive director of the Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Research and Development (CIPRED), praises the proposals. However, she also argues that policy alone is not enough. She says it’s crucial that indigenous people continue to cultivate pride in their traditional practices, particularly among younger generations, and direct skepticism toward industrialized agriculture involving chemical fertilizers, hybrid seeds and new technologies.

Both Sherpa and the paper pointed to the importance of native languages in sustaining traditional conservation knowledge and strategies. Governments have suppressed indigenous languages in Nepal, the United States and elsewhere across the globe.

“As indigenous persons, my cry is [that] it is very, very important to be educating ourselves on the values that we have contributed” to conservation, Sherpa says, “and also to educate the policymakers … on what we have implemented on the ground.”

Andrew Urevig is an educator and freelance journalist. He co-founded the Minnesota Debate Institute, and his writing has been published by National Geographic, Earther, Civil Eats and other publications.

This article was republished from Ensia

See also:
A Message Of Indigenous Resistance And Inspiration From The Amazon
Why Defending Indigenous Rights Is Integral To Fighting Climate Change

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

December 6, 2019

Plunging headlong into the day’s many challenges is tempting under the waxing Aries Moon. Enthusiastic spirits find courage and inspiration in a harmonizing trine between the waxing Moon and Sagittarius Sun. The energizing alignment helps offset a…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

December 2019

Join us for a day of holiday shopping while enjoying angel card readings, animal communication, mediumship, palmistry, and other energy sessions from some of New England's top intuitive and...

Cost: $5

Where:
Castleton Event Center
58 Enterprise Dr
Windham, NH  03087
View map »


Website »

More information

“Bringing Energy into Matter” Learn basics of Tachyon, Zero Point Energy and Quantum Physics Tachyonized products and healing tools for purchase Participate in a seeing...

Cost: Free (preregistration is required)

Where:
The Sanctuary for Celestial Empowerment
10 Grassmere Avenue
Suite #300
West Hartford, CT  06110
View map »


Sponsor: Psychotherapy Healing Services, LLC
Telephone: 860-798-6176
Contact Name: Celeste E. Mattingly, LCSW
Website »

More information

Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
View map »


Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
Website »

More information

A beautiful collection of messages from Jeshua Ben Joseph (Jesus) that will transform your life, as it did his. Coming together to study these teachings, to ponder, to savor, to deepen our...

Cost: $25 per class

Where:
Heart and Soul Holistic Healing Center
130 Massapoag Avenue
Sharon, MA  02067
View map »


Sponsor: Heart and Soul Holistic
Telephone: 781-258-9942
Contact Name: Barbara Ann Strassman
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

With Pata Suyemoto, PhD Most of the time treatment plans are implemented in a top down fashion, where doctors or teams of practitioners determine what is best for the client and the steps that...

Cost: $0-$30

Where:
CHA Central Street Care Center
26 Central Street
Community Room (2nd floor)
Somerville, MA  02143
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Mindfulness & Compassion
Telephone: 617-591-6132
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Free Evidence-Based Holistic Health Education Program at Wilbraham Senior Center The H.E.A.R.T. Program® (Health Empowerment and Real Transformation), created and instructed by Michelle...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Michelle Caron
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Vesta for a free Divorce Resource Night to gather information about all aspects of the divorce process. About this Event: Are you separated, divorced, or in the process of divorce?...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
180 Wells Avenue
Suite 300
Newton, MA  02459
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

At our free Divorce Boot Camp, you will learn how to manage the legal, financial, real estate, mortgage and personal issues related to divorce. About this event: Are you considering, going...

Cost: Free

Where:
Skylark Law & Mediation, PC
9 Main Street
Southborough, MA  01772
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

Join us for two talks with bestselling integrative wellness expert Laura Lagano! Hemp-Derived CBD: Integrating with Your Healing Modality Event for Wellness Practitioners: 2:30–4 pm...

Cost: $29

Where:
Bridge Healing Arts Center
304 Main Street
Farmington, CT  06032
View map »


Sponsor: Bridge Healing Arts Center
Telephone: 860-404-2578
Contact Name: Courtney Yost
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Four week series for girls ages 11 and up with Leigh Sloss This series of classes will focus on some of the most effective yoga and mindfulness skills for reducing stress and anxiety.  In a...

Cost: Series: $75; Drop in rate $20

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Lower Level
Exeter, NH  03833
View map »


Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Contact Name: Alice Bentley
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Faust Family Constellations presents The Constellation Approach™ Seminar with Jamy and Peter Faust, facilitators. All issues with family lineage, career, relationship, illness and...

Where:
Belmont, MA


Sponsor: Faust Family Constellations
Website »

More information

Learn to overcome spinal tensions through therapeutic postures, designed to decompress your spine and relieve pain. Taught by a certified yoga therapist, classes bring you through poses...

Cost: 5/$50

Where:
Bliss Through Yoga
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
View map »


Telephone: 508-331-3564
Contact Name: Janice O'Brien
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags