In a new article, co-authors Chief Edwin Ogar (Ekuri Initiative, ICCA Consortium Member) from Nigeria, ICCA Consortium’s Honorary member Gretta Pecl, and Council Member Tero Mustonen urge that if we are to preserve global biodiversity, and restore habitats, indigenous knowledge and western science must work in partnership.
Chief Ogar is the leader of the Ekuri community in Cross River State, southeast Nigeria. Tero Mustonen is the ICCA Consortium Council Member with special responsibility for Northern Europe and Russia and also represents Snowchange, Member of the ICCA Consortium.
In the Commentary published in One Earth journal, the authors urged that across the globe, indigenous and traditional knowledge have successfully preserved and restored biodiversity. However, the recognition of indigenous and traditional knowledge as equally valid as western science is still lacking. “If we are to preserve global biodiversity and rewild key habitats, science and indigenous knowledge must work in partnership while also being restitutive and rights-based,” the paper said.
The article reviews community-led actions for biodiversity protection and rewilding from the Arctic, Africa, and Australia. It discusses the problems of the past in working with science and indigenous knowledge and outlines several steps for the future. The Commentary also discusses the critical success of securing and maintaining the 33,600 hectares of intact forest in Nigeria against heavy pressures from illegal logging.
It presents ICCA Consortium Member Snowchange’s and its’ partners works and successes in Australia, including the Djunbunti rangers restoring the East Trinity Reserve in Queensland. The case from the Arctic is focused on the Snowchange and Sámi-led rewilding of river Vainosjoki that was completed using indigenous knowledge and science.
Gretta Pecl, Corresponding Author
gretta.pecl at utas.edu.au
REFERENCE: Ogar, E., Pecl, G., & Mustonen, T. (2020). Science Must Embrace Traditional and Indigenous Knowledge to Solve Our Biodiversity Crisis. One Earth 3(2), 162–165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.07.006
Featured image: Screenshot from One Earth journal.