In recent years, the field of study variously called local, indigenous or traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) has experienced a crisis brought about by the questioning of some of its basic assumptions. This has included reassessing notions that scientific methods can accurately elicit and describe TEK or that incorporating it into development projects will improve the physical, social or economic well-being of marginalized peoples. The contributors to this volume argue that to accurately and appropriately describe TEK, the historical and political forces that have shaped it, as well as people's day-to-day engagement with the landscape around them must be taken into account. TEK thus emerges, not as an easily translatable tool for development experts, but as a rich and complex element of contemporary lives that should be defined and managed by indigenous and local peoples themselves.
Serena Heckler received her Ph.D. in ethnobotany, environmental anthropology and sustainable development from Cornell University and is a research fellow at Durham University. She has lived and worked with the Wothiha of the Venezuelan Amazon, studying the ways in which the market economy and demographic change have affected their environmental knowledge. She is currently undertaking participatory research on similar themes with the Shuar of Ecuador, in collaboration with the Intercultural University of Indigenous Peoples and Nations-Amawtay Wasi based in Quito, Ecuador.
List of Figures, Maps and Tables List of Contributors Preface Roy Ellen Part I: The Current State of Environmental Knowledge Research Introduction Serena Heckler Chapter 1. A Genealogy of Scientific Representations of Indigenous Knowledge Stanford Zent Part II: Environmental Knowledge and Power Chapter 2. The Cultural and Economic Globalisation of Traditional Environmental Knowledge Systems Miguel Alexiades Chapter 3. Competing and Coexisting with Cormorants: Ambiguity and Change in European Wetlands David N. Carss, Sandra Bell, and Mariella Marzano Chapter 4. Pathways to Developmen: Identity, Landscape and Industry in Papua New Guinea Emma Gilberthorpe Part III: Process in Environmental Knowledge Chapter 5. How Do They See It? Traditional Resource Management, Disturbance and Biodiversity Conservation in Papua New Guinea - William Thomas Chapter 6. Wild Plants as Agricultural Indicators: Linking Ethnobotany with Traditional Ecological Knowledge Takeshi Fujimoto Chapter 7. How Does Migration Affect Ethnobotanical Knowledge and Social Organisation in a West Papuan Village? Manuel Boissiere Part IV: Landscape and Environmental Knowledge Chapter 8. Reproduction and Development of Expertise within Communities of Practice: A Case Study of Fishing Activities in South Buton Daniel Vermonden Chapter 9. Review of an Attempt to Apply the Carrying Capacity Concept in the New Guinea Highlands: Cultural Practice Disconcerts Ecological Expectation Paul Sillitoe Chapter 10. Managing the Gabra Oromo Commons of Kenya, Past and Present Aneesa Kassam and Francis Chachu Ganya Index