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Title: The unique character of traditional forest-related knowledge: threats and challenges ahead

Author: Trosper, Ronald L.; Parrotta, John A.; Agnoletti, Mauro; Bocharnikov, Vladimir; Feary, Suzanne A.; Gabay, Monica; Gamborg, Christian; García Latorre, Jesus; Johann, Elisabeth; Laletin, Andrey; Lim, Hin Fui; Oteng-Yeboah, Alfred; Pinedo-Vasquez, Miguel A.; Ramakrishnan, P.S.; Youn, Yeo-Chang.;

Date: 2012

Source: in: Parrotta, John A. and Trosper, Ronald L., editors. Traditional Forest-Related Knowledge: Sustaining Communities, Ecosystems and Biocultural Diversity. World Forest Series vol. 12. Springer, Dordrecht, the Netherlands.

Publication Series: Book Chapter

Description: This chapter refl ects on the major fi ndings of the lead authors of this book regarding traditional forest-related knowledge (TFRK) using five criteria for distinguishing the unique character of traditional knowledge: (1) its attention to sustainability; (2) relationships to land; (3) identity; (4) reciprocity; and (5) limitations on market involvement. Following an explanation of these criteria, we discuss the definition of “traditional forest-related knowledge,” with some remarks about its resilience. We then consider threats to the maintenance of TFRK, how other definitions of sustainability differ from that used in TFRK, and how relationships that holders of this knowledge have to their land have been weakened and their identities challenged. We highlight how the key role of reciprocity, or the sharing of the utilization of land, is undermined by individualistic motives which are promoted by the global expansion of modern markets (for commodities, ecosystems services and for knowledge itself), which also challenge the policies of traditional knowledge holders to keep market influences under control. We then focus on two notable, but often ignored, contributions of TFRK (and the holders of this knowledge) to forest management today, specifically the preservation of biodiversity, and traditional knowledge-based shifting cultivation practices and their importance for both sustainable management of forests and food security. Finally, we consider enabling conditions for the preservation and development of TFRK, and examine the role of the scientific community in relation to TFRK and principles for successful collaboration between traditional knowledge holders and scientists.

Keywords: biodiversity, cultural diversity, forest management, forest science, local communities, indigenous peoples, sustainability, traditional knowledge

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Trosper, Ronald L.; Parrotta, John A.; Agnoletti, Mauro; Bocharnikov, Vladimir; Feary, Suzanne A.; Gabay, Monica; Gamborg, Christian; García Latorre, Jesus; Johann, Elisabeth; Laletin, Andrey; Lim, Hin Fui; Oteng-Yeboah, Alfred; Pinedo-Vasquez, Miguel A.; Ramakrishnan, P.S.; Youn, Yeo-Chang. 2012. The unique character of traditional forest-related knowledge: threats and challenges ahead. pp. 563-588 (Chapter 15) in: Parrotta, John A. and Trosper, Ronald L., editors. Traditional Forest-Related Knowledge: Sustaining Communities, Ecosystems and Biocultural Diversity. World Forest Series vol. 12. Springer, Dordrecht, the Netherlands.

 


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