Over the last years, several integrative fields of inquiry have been advancing our understanding of the complex non-linear and multi-scale relationships between people and nature. To better enable us to tackle the multiple challenges facing the planet, many of these fields of inquiry seek to develop respectful and equitable ways of generating knowledge about our relationship with the natural world through braiding traditional knowledge systems and conventional “Western” science.
To maintain humankind’s resilience in the face of change, we must draw on the best available knowledge, regardless of its origins-whether it is indigenous knowledge rooted in a millennia of meticulous on-the-land observations of phenology, weather and animal behavior, or contemporary scientific methodologies that rely on satellites to remotely capture large-scale habitat changes, track animal movements or monitor climate.
According to the Right and Resources Initiative — an NGO working on land and resource rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities — though the world’s indigenous peoples make up fewer than 4 percent of the world’s population, their traditional territories support about 80 percent of the world’s biological diversity. Around the world, the indigenous territories are also the spaces where millennia-old indigenous systems of knowledge generation and practice meet modern technology and scientific insights.
Implementing a multiple evidence based (MEB) framework to further knowledge co-creation between indigenous and scientific knowledge systems is an important way to help advance the recognition of the leadership role of indigenous peoples in stewarding their lands and waters. The MEB approach braids indigenous and scientific knowledge systems together to support and enhance decision-making and ultimately the resilience of interlinked social and ecological systems.
To better enable us to tackle the multiple challenges facing the planet, our home, many of these fields of inquiry seek to develop respectful and equitable ways of generating knowledge about our relationship with the natural world through braiding traditional knowledge systems and conventional “Western” science.