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A great global meta-analysis of local ecological knowledge (LEK) recently came out showing 77% of papers on LEK report decline. (The paper is great, the decline is not.) This is in an open-access journal so you should be able to enjoy it! The authors make some really great points about feedback loops and implications for biodiversity, conservation, etc. if we don't turn things around.

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Valuable example of attempts at knowledge decolonization in the context of western science.

"To return to the firehawks example, one way to look at this is that the scientists confirmed what the Indigenous peoples have long known about the birds’ use of fire. Or we can say that the Western scientists finally caught up with Traditional Knowledge after several thousand years"

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A new book on transnational biocultural histories of forests in Northern Europe.
Managing Northern Europe’s Forests
Histories from the Age of Improvement to the Age of Ecology
Newly published, February 2018

A new edited volume exploring the forest histories of nine northern European countries has been published by Berghahn Books.

Northern Europe was, by many accounts, the birthplace of much of modern forestry practice, and for hundreds of years the region’s woodlands have played an outsize role in international relations, economic growth, and the development of national identity. Across eleven chapters, the contributors to this volume survey the histories of state forestry policy in Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Germany, Poland, and Great Britain from the early modern period to the present. Each explores the complex interrelationships of state-building, resource management, knowledge transfer, and trade over a period characterized by ongoing modernization and evolving environmental awareness.

Buy online & get a 50% discount. Use code OOS003 (until 30 April 2018)
Read the introduction chapter for free:

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This is a really nice article from CIFOR on research exploring cultural preservation and the conservation of forests in Bhutan.
In the country of Bhutan, a small Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas, it is often the middle road that is chosen. There’s the middle path of the country’s religion and its emphasis on spiritual balance, symbolized in the prayer flags and pagoda tops that…

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Warning, this is not a short article. It's on the Ainu, an indigenous group in Japan. The article covers a lot: their history, how the Ainu have survived, how they've been ignored, and what being Ainu means today, but this piece also delves into the Ainu's relationship with bears and how that relationship has changed over the years. Overall, it's a really interesting read about a group often forgotten and ignored.

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Trapping migratory shorebirds for research in lieu of traditional hunting

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Over the centuries, indigenous peoples traditional forms of farming knowledge and practices help maintain biodiversity, enhance food security, and protect the world’s natural resources. #Agriculture

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Researchers find that combining Ethiopian farmers' traditional knowledge of crops can help plant breeders increase resiliency and productivity of wheat plants. Ethiopia is the largest producer of wheat in Sub-Saharan Africa and the region most wheat is grown in is susceptible to increased climatic variability thanks to climate change. Researchers hope combined efforts to identify desired genetic traits in certain plants using traditional knowledge can be used elsewhere in the world to empower farmers.

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Two professors at Cape Breton University — a chemist and a Mi'kmaq scholar — have been awarded $150,000 to study the healing powers of birch bark. Tuma Young, assistant professor of L'nu studies, and Matthias Bierenstiel, associate professor of chemistry, are combining traditional knowledge and fundamental science to determine how and why the birch bark oil works to soothe skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. #Canada #NovaScotia #MikMaq #TraditionalMedicine

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"Researcher Abaki Beck, 23, has vivid childhood memories of helping her mother, grandmothers, and aunts pick traditional foods and medicines on the Blackfeet Nation in northwest Montana. Because her great-grandmother passed down her vast knowledge of the tribe’s traditions, Beck learned the importance of eating these foods at an early age.”

"Well before white settlers colonized their land, Blackfeet Nation members used more than 200 types of plants for food and remedies. But forced assimilation and reliance on the U.S. government for food adversely shifted most nations’ diets from whole foods to industrialized processed foods and eroded tribal health. More than 80 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native adults are overweight or obese, and half of American Indian children are predicted to develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetimes, according to the Indian Health Clinical Reporting system."

"Beck's report, published in May, “Ahwahsiin: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Contemporary Food Sovereignty on the Blackfeet Reservation” (ahwahsiin translates to “the land where we get our food”), features oral history interviews with nine Blackfeet elders who discussed the nation’s traditional foods and the health issues connected to a modern American diet. A 2016 survey —the Blackfeet Nation has approximately 17,000 members—found that one of the most cited barriers in accessing traditional or local foods was lack of knowledge."

#TEK #CountryFoods. #FirstNations
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