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The Jarawa Tribal Reserve Dossier - Cultural & biological diversities in the Andaman Islands
One of the most distinctive, but relatively little known features of the Andaman Islands is an entity of land and sea called the Jarawa Tribal Reserve (JTR) – a space legally notified in the name and, arguably, the interests of the Jarawa tribal community. Until recently, the Jarawa were hostile to outsiders. As a result, those who might otherwise have exploited the resources of the reserve – poachers, settlers and developers – were denied access. However, the Jarawa have now chosen to cease hostilities, and the borders of the Jarawa Tribal Reserve have become permeable to intrusion, even though legally off limits to outsiders. The multiple changes that have ensued have enormous ramifications for both the Jarawa people and their lands. As much information relating to the Jarawa and the Reserve remains scattered and difficult to access, this Dossier has undertaken to bring together within the covers of one publication, information and views about the JTR emanating from a number of distinct disciplines. Indeed, one cannot comprehend the complex interactions between the biological and cultural diversity of this unique people and place without adopting an interdisciplinary perspective.

Mayangna Knowledge of the Co-existence of People and Nature: Fish and Turtles

The Central American tropical rainforest along the border between Nicaragua and Honduras has been the home of the indigenous Mayangna and Miskito for centuries. Through their livelihoods based on slash and burn agriculture, fishing and hunting, they have both shaped the local ecological system and sheltered it from destruction. Their knowledge about the local flora and fauna is extensive and in-depth. This 450 page book – divided into two volumes - captures in meticulous detail the breadth and depth of indigenous knowledge about the aquatic world. A wide range of information about the 30 fishes and six turtles that frequent Mayangna waterways are presented, weaving together empirical observations on behaviour, habitat, reproduction and migration patterns, with social commentaries on sharing, learning or harvesting, and cosmological reflections on human-animal relations and master spirits

Climate Change and Arctic Sustainable Development
Scientific, social, cultural and educational challenges The Arctic is undergoing rapid and dramatic environmental and social transformations due to climate change. This has ramifications for the entire planet, as change spreads through interconnected global networks that are environmental, cultural, economic and political. Today, with the major thrust of research shifting away from deciphering causes and monitoring trends, the central preoccupation of a growing circle of actors has become the exploration of strategies for responding and adapting to climate change. But to understand the far-reaching impacts of climate change and the complexities of adaptation, a truly interdisciplinary approach is required

Indigenous Knowledge Posters
A series of seven indigenous knowledge posters was launched by the LINKS Programme at the National Cultural Centre of Vanuatu in December 2008. The posters are available in English, French, Spanish and Bislama (Vanuatu) languages, and can be downloaded here..

Learning and Knowing in Indigenous Societies Today
Edited by P. Bates, M. Chiba, S. Kube & D. Nakashima, UNESCO
The loss of their specialised knowledge of nature is a grave concern for many indigenous communities throughout the world. Education, as it is understood in a Western context, occupies a pivotal role in this process, highlighted by many as both a major cause of the decline of indigenous knowledge, and also as a potential remedy for its demise. Commendable efforts are being made to better align educational curricula with indigenous realities and to incorporate local knowledge and language content into school curricula, but the interrelationship and balance between these two different ways of learning remain delicate. These issues, and attempts to address them, are explored within the UNESCO publication Learning and Knowing in Indigenous Societies Today.

Mayangna knowledge deep in the heart of Mesoamerica
A World of Science, Vol. 6, No. 3, October-December 2008
Paule Gros and Douglas Nakashima
One of the last extensive areas of Central American tropical rainforest lies along the border of Nicaragua with Honduras. This transboundary area, which includes the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua and the Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve on the Honduran side, has come to be known as the Heart of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. The second-largest rainforest in the Americas after the Amazon, it is of utmost importance for the conservation of Central American biodiversity. The area is also home to the indigenous Mayangna and Miskito peoples who have occupied these lands for centuries.


One size does not fit all
A World of Science, Vol. 6, No. 3, October-December 2008
Editorial by Walter Erdelen
From 15 to 18 September, indigenous peoples occupied centre-stage at UNESCO. The Organization’s Paris headquarters played host to both the first official visit of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the annual meeting of the Inter-agency Support Group on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues, attended by 20 UN agencies and programmes.


A global forum takes to the frontlines of climate change
A World of Science, Vol. 6, No. 3, July-September 2008
Peter Bates
In response to the outcry over the continuing absence of vulnerable groups from international debates on climate change, UNESCO’s Coasts and Small Islands platform and Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems programme launched an Internet-based discussion forum on 12 June.


© Menuka Scetbon-Didi

An Indigenous Knowledge Forum on Climate Change Impacts
Pachamama, Volume 2 Issue 2, May 2008
Douglas Nakashima
The goal of the forum is to seek community-level observations on climate change impacts, as well as local efforts to cope with and adapt to these changes. It will provide an opportunity for communities to voice and share observations, experiences and concerns, while heightening the profile of indigenous peoples and their knowledge in international climate change debates.


Fishers' Knowledge in Fisheries Science and Management
Coastal Management Sourcebooks 4
Edited by Nigel Haggan, Barbara Neis and Ian G. Baird
Fishers rely on an in-depth knowledge of the natural milieu for their livelihood. This book had its origin in a 2001 conference called 'Putting Fishers' Knowledge to Work'. It focuses on how and where fishers' knowledge – indigenous and artisanal, as well as large and small-scale commercial – is being put to work in collaboration with scientists, government managers and non-governmental organizations.


Water and Indigenous Peoples
Knowledges of Nature 2
Edited by R. Boelens, M. Chiba and D. Nakashima.
Water and Indigenous Peoples is based on the papers delivered on the occasion of the Second and Third World Water Forums (The Hague in 2000 and Kyoto in 2003). It brings to the fore some of the most incisive indigenous critics of international debates on water access, use and management, as well as indigenous expressions of generosity that share community knowledge and insight in order to propose remedies for the global water crisis.

The Spanish version, El Agua y los Pueblos Indígenas, was launched at the Sixth Inter-American Dialogue on Water Management, Guatemala City.


Cultural Diversity and Biodiversity
International Social Science Journal - Issue 187
Marie Roué, Editorial Advisor
This issue investigates the relations between local and indigenous societies and nature from the Philippines to Benin, from sub-arctic to Melanesia, and from Thailand to France. The articles focus on hybrid objects which are at the same time natural and cultural, and stand at the limit between the domestic and the wild: Local varieties and breeds, localized production processes, and landscapes modified by societies which qualify as both natural and cultural.


Traditional Knowledge in Sustainable Development and Resource Management
UNESCO's Programme on the Eradication of Poverty, Especially Extreme Poverty
The LINKS project integrates local and indigenous knowledge (L/IK), practice and worldviews into sustainable development and resource management processes, such that rural communities become active partners in defining development targets, priorities and means. It focuses on the needs of traditional knowledge holders, both men and women, including both elders and youth.


The San: Sustainable Development before its time
The New Courier, May 2005
N. Crawhall
The oldest members of the San community remember a time when there were no boreholes in the Southern Kalahari. There was no surface water available except during the rains. The people lived off those plants that absorbed water. During the 19th century, settlers could not penetrate the interior of the Southern Kalahari without using the traditional technology of the San people.


Spared by the sea
The New Courier, May 2005
D. Elias
It is December 26, 2004. Several elders from the Moken tribe, a small community of sea gypsies from the Surin islands Marine National Park off the coast of Phang-Nga Province, Thailand, notice that the sea is churned up and moving in an unusual way. They raise the alarm.


The knowledge that saved the sea gypsies
A World of SCIENCE, Vol. 3, No. 2, April-June 2005
D. Elias, S. Rungmanee et I. Cruz
When the water lapping the shores of Yan Chiak in Myanmar suddenly drew back on 26 December, the Moken recognized the signs. La Boon was about to strike. Dropping everything, the entire village headed for higher ground and safety. La Boon is the Moken word for tsunami.


Reef and Rainforest 
An Environmental Encyclopedia of Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands
Edvard Hviding

As they say in Marovo: "Those who cannot name the good things of sea and land, cannot find them, and therefore cannot eat or otherwise benefit from them, nor will they know how to look after them well."


Evolution of village-based marine resource management in Vanuatu
Coastal Region and Small Island papers #15
R. E. Johannes and F. R. Hickey
A 1993 study of coastal villages in Vanuatu, an archipelago in the tropical western Pacific, revealed that, within the previous three years, marine resource management measures, designed to reduce or eliminate overfishing or other damaging human impacts on marine resources, had rapidly increased.


NGOs in the Governance of Biodiversity
International Social Science Journal - Issue 178
Marie Roué, Editorial Advisor
Since the traditional ecological knowledge of local and indigenous peoples was written into Agenda 21 and the Convention on Biodiversity, their role in management of their natural resources has achieved international recognition.


Indigenous Knowledge
International Social Science Journal - Issue 173
Arun Agrawal, Editorial Advisor
In the mid-1990s, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the United States Agency for International Development launched a novel partnership. The International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) sought to bring together...


Science, Traditional Knowledge and Sustainable Development
ICSU Series on Science for Sustainable Development No. 4
International Council for Science and UNESCO



Science and Tradition: Roots and Wings for Development
Collection of papers from the conference that took place in Brussels 5 - 6 April, 2001 

Indigenous Knowledge, Peoples and Sustainable Practice
Social and economic dimensions of global environmental change
In Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change - Volume 5
Douglas Nakashima and Marie Roué, Edited by Peter Timmerman
Indigenous knowledge is entering into the mainstream of sustainable development and biodiversity conservation discourse. Article 8(j) of the Convention of Biological Diversity (Rio, 1992) has contributed to this process by...


Tapping into the World's Wisdom
UNESCO Sources
Douglas Nakashima, Lyndel Prott and Peter Bridgewater
Traditional systems of knowledge need to be given rightful recognition alongside modern science. Western science is one type of knowledge system among many. It's time to recognise the others.

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