Browsing by Subject "local knowledge"

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  • Zaman, Sara Roxana; Korpilo, Silviya; Horcea-Milcu, Andra-Ioana; Raymond, Prof. Christopher (2022)
    While previous socio-ecological systems research has shown relationships between local knowledge and the assignment of landscape values, the relationships between value assignment and more nuanced forms of local knowledge remain less understood. This study makes use of public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS), a method for identifying and mapping landscape attributes important to local communities. We use this method to assess the spatial associations between three landscape attributes often overlooked in the PPGIS literature: landscape values, self-reported knowledge about different types of landscape management practices and land-use types. We analyzed responses from residents of Mjölby kommun, Sweden (n = 301) using Monte Carlo simulations and density-based clustering. Overall, we found stronger spatial associations between landscape values and land-use types compared with landscape values and self-reported knowledge about landscape management. For example, significant positive associations were found between aesthetic and recreation values and certain land-use types, but there was no association between these values and self-reported knowledge. The land-use type to which a landscape value is assigned is sometimes supported by self-reported knowledge (especially for underrepresented landscape values), while self-reported knowledge did not provide a conclusive pattern about value assignment on its own. We discuss the implications of using PPGIS in integrated landscape management for building multifunctionality in landscape management by addressing the values of different land-use stakeholders, and the potential benefits of increased inclusivity in forms of local knowledge.
  • Craig, Christie; Thomson, Robert; Santangeli, Andrea (2018)
    Ecosystem services are cited as one of the many reasons for conserving declining vulture populations in Africa. We aimed to explore how communal farmers in Namibia perceive vultures and the ecosystem services they provide, with special focus on cultural and regulating ecosystem services. We surveyed 361 households across Namibia’s communal farmlands and found that over two-thirds of households liked vultures and found them useful, stating that they were harmless and useful for locating dead livestock. The minority of households who disliked vultures believed that they were killing their livestock. Poisoning was the main cause of vulture mortalities reported by farmers. While poisoning appears to be a concern for vultures in the communal farmlands, it appears that cultural use of vulture body parts is a minimal threat. We found that few farmers knew of cultural beliefs about vultures or uses for body parts; most farmers believed these beliefs and practices to be outdated. It is further promising that communal farmers have an overall positive perception of vultures. This highlights the potential for communal conservancies to bring attention to vulture conservation in their constituencies.
  • Mattila, Hanna; Olsson, Pia; Tiina-Riitta , Lappi; Ojanen, Karoliina (2022)
    Knowledge-based' approaches have recently made a breakthrough in urban planning. How to develop balance in knowledge-based planning between abstract and scientific knowledge, on the one hand, and 'local knowledge' on the other hand has been long debated. To this debate, we add a form of knowledge with potential for sustainable urban planning, i.e. ethnographic knowledge that could transmit an understanding of urban dwellers' daily practices and values to planning organisations. Theoretical literature is the foundation of our argument, which we illustrate with a case study involving urban planners and decision-makers in the Helsinki region of Finland.
  • Reyes-García, Victoria; Díaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Duda, Romain; Fernández-Llamazares, Álvaro; Gallois, Sandrine; Guèze, Maximilien; Napitupulu, Lucentezza; Pyhälä, Aili (2016)
    We assess the consistency of measures of individual local ecological knowledge obtained through peer evaluation against three standard measures: identification tasks, structured questionnaires, and self-reported skills questionnaires. We collected ethnographic information among the Baka (Congo), the Punan (Borneo), and the Tsimane’ (Amazon) to design site-specific but comparable tasks to measure medicinal plant and hunting knowledge. Scores derived from peer ratings correlate with scores of identification tasks and self-reported skills questionnaires. The higher the number of people rating a subject, the larger the association. Associations were larger for the full sample than for subsamples with high and low rating scores. Peer evaluation can provide a more affordable method in terms of difficulty, time, and budget to study intracultural variation of knowledge, provided that researchers (1) do not aim to describe local knowledge; (2) select culturally recognized domains of knowledge; and (3) use a large and diverse (age, sex, and kinship) group of evaluators.
  • Hakkarainen, Viola; Soini, Katriina; Dessein, Joost; Raymond, Prof. Christopher (2022)
    1. Including different forms of knowledges and views in decision-making is crucial to managing the complexity of social-ecological systems (SES) in ways that are inclusive and embrace diversity. 2. Sense of place scholarship can explain subjectivity in SES; however, it has hardly been considered together with the literature on knowledge processes, overlooking the epistemic dimension of sense of place and its potential to shed light on the roles and views of individuals in respect to natural resources and their management. 3. This paper explores how local knowledge and place-belonging (as a form of sense of place) intersect, and what kinds of implications these knowledge-place connections have for the interactions between actors and their agency in the High Coast/Kvarken Archipelago UNESCO World Heritage Site (Sweden/Finland). 4. Drawing on participant observation in workshops and semi-structured interviews with diverse actors in this transboundary governance context, we identify five types of knowledge-place connections, which exemplify diverse positions on local knowledge shaped by place-belonging. 5. We propose a concept of place-embedded agency to reveal how these positions shape action and interaction between people inside and outside formal decision-making processes. We argue that recognising and taking place-embedded agency into account can help to overcome tensions and enhance plurality in SES governance.
  • Reyes-Garcia, Victoria; Guèze, Maximilien; Díaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Duda, Romain; Fernandez-Llamazares Onrubia, Alvaro; Gallois, Sandrine; Napitupulu, Lucentezza; Orta-Martínez, Marti; Pyhälä, Aili Adelita (2016)
    Researchers have argued that the behavioral adaptations that explain the success of our species are partially cultural, that is, cumulative and socially transmitted. Thus, understanding the adaptive nature of culture is crucial to understand human evolution. We use a cross-cultural framework and empirical data purposely collected to test whether culturally transmitted and individually appropriated knowledge provides individual returns in terms of hunting yields and health and, by extension, nutritional status, a proxy for individual adaptive success. Data were collected in three subsistence-oriented societies: the Tsimane’ (Amazon), the Baka (Congo Basin), and the Punan (Borneo). Results suggest that variations in individual levels of local environmental knowledge relate to individual hunting returns and self-reported health but not to nutritional status. We argue that this paradox can be explained through the prevalence of sharing: individuals achieving higher returns to their knowledge transfer them to the rest of the population, which explains the lack of association between knowledge and nutritional status. The finding is in consonance with previous research highlighting the importance of cultural traits favoring group success but pushes it forward by elucidating the mechanisms through which individual- and group-level adaptive forces interact.
  • Tiitu, Maija; Viinikka, Arto; Ojanen, Maria; Saarikoski, Heli (Elsevier, 2021)
    Environmental Science & Policy 126 (2021), 177-188
    Worldwide urbanisation emphasises the importance of planning for cities that sustain and promote the well-being of their residents. The planning of a living environment that supports well-being requires both intersectoral cooperation between policy sectors and interaction between researchers and practitioners. With 12 case studies (of 11 Finnish municipalities and one city region), we provide a description of a knowledge co-production process originating from the use of a new planning-support tool called StrateGIS that can be used for discovering built-environment indicators for integrated planning for well-being. Based on spatial multi-criteria analysis, we also investigate how the tool fostered intersectoral discussion among practitioners during the process. Practitioner knowledge was merged with scientific knowledge at different stages of the process: in structuring the value tree, in setting the objectives, in selecting the criteria and in defining the spatial representation for each criterion. Intersectoral discussion during the process was seen as fruitful and relatively easy despite the different types of expertise present in the workshops. Based on our results, the local experts specialised in spatial data have an intermediary role between practitioners since they can build understanding of how data is translated into spatial information when using a spatial planning-support tool.