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Title: The Role of Indigenous Knowledge in Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring: A Case Study in Uganda

Author: Nanyunja, Robinah K.;

Date: 2006

Source: In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 543-549

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Biodiversity is being lost at unprecedented rates through destruction of habitats and ecosystems for short-term economic gain. Concern about this has led governments, multilateral organizations, scientists, environmentalists, and others to look for ways to promote the conservation of biodiversity. This concern has led to the development of rapid biodiversity assessment approaches based on indigenous knowledge of the local people to provide information on biodiversity suitable for use in conservation planning and environmental monitoring.

The study, which was funded by UNDP/GEF Cross-Border Biodiversity Project in Uganda and implemented by myself on behalf of Makerere University Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (MUIENR), was carried out in the communities living in Moroto forest reserve and those living adjacent to the forest reserves of Sango Bay area. Moroto forest reserve is found in the Northeastern part of Uganda, while Sango Bay area is found in Southern part. The study was meant to identify, select indicators for biodiversity assessment and monitoring, and determine the trends of the resources since 1950 to 2001 using indigenous knowledge of the local people. The criteria for the selection of biodiversity indicators based on the following resource categories: Resources whose alternatives cannot be obtained from outside the forest; Medicinal and food plants; Resources with considerable pressure from the people; Sources of income; rare resources and large mammals. The results obtained indicated that there has been biodiversity loss based on the selected categories since 1950 to 2001, due to mainly change of peoples’ livelihoods, over-harvesting, policy, and institutional failures. The major conclusion drawn from the study was that, the use of indigenous knowledge is a cheaper method in biodiversity assessment and monitoring, and it encourages the participation of local communities in resource management decisions thus empowering them to undertake sustainable management initiatives. However there is use of a unified knowledge system for effective biodiversity assessment and management.

Keywords: monitoring, assessment, sustainability, Western Hemisphere, sustainable management, ecosystem resources, biodiversity, Uganda

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Nanyunja, Robinah K. 2006. The Role of Indigenous Knowledge in Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring: A Case Study in Uganda. In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 543-549

 


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