Objectifying traditional knowledge, re-enchanting the struggle against climate change

Abstract : Traditional knowledge was almost absent from climate change discussions until recently, despite its historical presence in other UN arenas such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), UNESCO and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The Paris Agreement has changed this situation. Its preamble recognises “the rights of indigenous peoples” and the possibility for some cultures to conceptualise “biodiversity” as “Mother Earth”. How does the climate regime affect the traditional knowledge category, and conversely, how does the inclusion of traditional knowledge affect the climate regime? Using the “translation” concept, we argue that this cross-translation process results from a kind of metaphoric barter. The climatisation of traditional knowledge leads to a form of strategic objectification through politics and science. This objectification contributes to empower different actors by advancing their individuals agendas while, the inclusion of traditional knowledge into the climate regime increases its symbolic capital (Bourdieu 1994), through narratives that give added soul to and contribute to “re-enchant” this fundamentally technocratic arena.
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Jean Foyer, David Dumoulin Kervran. Objectifying traditional knowledge, re-enchanting the struggle against climate change . Aykut Stefan; Foyer Jean; Morena Edouard. Globalising the Climate. COP21 and the climatisation of global debates, , Routledge, 2017, 9781138675599. ⟨halshs-01583053⟩

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