Browsing by Subject "local knowledge"

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  • 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knew of cultural beliefs about vultures or uses for body parts; most farmers believed these beliefs and practices to be outdated.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.
  • 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.
  • 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.