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Local knowledge, know‐how and knowledge mobilized in a globalized world: A new approach of indigenous local ecological knowledge

Abstract : More than 30 years after the 1988 Declaration of Belém, which we can consider an important outcome of socio‐environmental movements, this reflexive paper proposes new ways of approaching indigenous local knowledge (ILK) related to the living environment and understanding its relevance in times of global socio‐environmental crisis. Drawing upon the example of an ethnodevelopment project based on guarana production by indigenous Sateré‐Mawé people in the Brazilian Amazon, two important issues are addressed. First, we reflect on how a traditional management system can contribute to both biological and cultural conservation, even when that system is inserted in new global markets and spoken about through a scientific perspective. Second, we address the challenge of incorporating ILK into conservation research by formulating a set of methodological proposals. We show that ILK is a dynamic, adaptive and political product of local–global interactions. This leads us to defend an analysis of ILK that would focus on its processes of creation rather than on the body of knowledge that results from them, thus helping to account for ILK's vitality and the various forms of its legitimation. At the crossroads of ethnobiology, science and technology studies, and social anthropology, these research methods seek to go beyond the inventory, categorization and structural analysis of thoughts and practices to instead privilege an analysis of the interactions between local populations and resources; at the same time, they operate across different scales and integrate actors from the beginning to the end of (sometimes long) value chains. Such an approach aims to make visible the modes of knowledge translation and hybridization that indigenous people might implement to maintain control over their collective identities and their relationship with a changing environment.
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Contributor : Mélanie Congretel <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 14, 2020 - 11:53:42 AM
Last modification on : Friday, February 5, 2021 - 4:02:32 AM

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Mélanie Congretel, Florence Pinton. Local knowledge, know‐how and knowledge mobilized in a globalized world: A new approach of indigenous local ecological knowledge. People and Nature, Wiley Open Access 2020, 2 (3), pp.527-543. ⟨10.1002/pan3.10142⟩. ⟨halshs-02937670⟩



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