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INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE COULD HELP DEALING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE

If local and indigenous knowledge systems (LINKS) were scientifically validated, coastal and island communities would enjoy substantial benefits. Among the territories most affected by climate change, there are numerous remote islands in Indonesia, where modern technologies for disaster prevention and management are hardly available.

During the centuries, local communities have developed different ways to face natural disasters; indeed, these populations have based their relationship with the surrounding, wild and violent nature on a multitude of traditions, customs and practices. Protected by UNESCO under the Convention for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, these systems include calendars able to forecast extreme conditions such as tsunami, strong winds and drought seasons.

Even though scientific and technological development was inspired by these effective systems, the scientific community hasn’t put enough effort in giving solid, scientific validation to LINKS, resulting in no funds allocation to revitalize and take advantage from this local traditional heritage.

On the other hand, if governments, scientists and academicians supported LINKS, these would offer better opportunities to assist, mitigate and help the recovery of small communities from the devastating effects of climate change and they would encourage resilience together with the promotion of cultural identity.

 

The gLAWcal Team

LIBEAC project

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

(Source: The Jakarta Post)