Special Session: The role of Indigenous Knowledge and cultural perspectives in biodiversity conservation

The recognition that local and indigenous people have their own ecological understandings, conservation practices, and resource management strategies has important and far-reaching social and environmental implications. Indigenous Knowledge related to the natural environment can add value to the overall conservation and sustainable management of natural habitats and ecosystems. Indigenous people are finally recognised as essential partners in environmental management. Acknowledging Indigenous Knowledge transforms the relationship between biodiversity managers and local communities.

However, differences between scientific and indigenous worldviews continue to create barriers to meaningful collaboration, as does the widespread assumption that conventional science is superior to other knowledge systems. Cultural protection afforded to species and landscapes may be a more effective conservation practice compared to alternative measures. Where cultural associations and Indigenous Knowledge has become eroded, practices and values are lost. Considering that human communities evolved within specific ecosystems, it is therefore critical to document and explore these beliefs from an ethno-conservation perspective.

In this special session, we will explore some of the research currently incorporating Indigenous Knowledge within a biodiversity and cultural conservation context and we hope to strategize methods to align conventional and cultural conservation practices.

Closed session: no external presentations will be included, but participation in the session during the Symposium is open to all. All submissions not linked to special sessions will be structured into logical groupings in the remainder of the programme. Please contact the Secretariat to be put in touch with the convener if you feel that you have a useful contribution to add to this special session.

Navigate between Special Sessions 

Water-Citizen-Science
Data Management
Elephant Conservation
Indigenous Knowledge
Lead in Wildlife
Maloti-Drakensberg Exposition
PA Management Effectiveness
Protection via Partnerships
Species in Crisis
Vulture Conservation

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