Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Global Environmental Change: Research findings and policy implications
Erik Gůmez-Baggethun, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain; SocialĖEcological Systems Laboratory, Department of Ecology, Universidad Autůnoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Esteve Corbera, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain; Department of Economics & Economic History, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
Victoria Reyes-GarcŪa, ICREA and Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
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This paper introduces the special feature of Ecology and Society
entitled ďTraditional Ecological Knowledge and Global Environmental Change. The special feature addresses two main research themes. The first theme concerns the resilience of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (hereafter TEK) and the conditions that might explain its loss or persistence in the face of global change. The second theme relates to new findings regarding the way in which TEK strengthens community resilience to respond to the multiple stressors of global environmental change. Those themes are analyzed using case studies from Africa, Asia, America and Europe. Theoretical insights and empirical findings from the studies suggest that despite the generalized worldwide trend of TEK erosion, substantial pockets of TEK persist in both developing and developed countries. A common trend on the studies presented here is hybridization, where traditional knowledge, practices, and beliefs are merged with novel forms of knowledge and technologies to create new knowledge systems. The findings also reinforce previous hypotheses pointing at the importance of TEK systems as reservoirs of experiential knowledge that can provide important insights for the design of adaptation and mitigation strategies to cope with global environmental change. Based on the results from papers in this feature, we discuss policy directions that might help to promote maintenance and restoration of living TEK systems as sources of social-ecological resilience.
Adaptation, biocultural diversity, indigenous knowledge, resilience, small-scale societies