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Strengthening Indigenous Knowledge for Sustainable Livelihoods, Resource and Social Change

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Title: Strengthening Indigenous Knowledge for Sustainable Livelihoods, Resource and Social Change


1
Strengthening Indigenous Knowledge for
Sustainable Livelihoods, Resource and Social
Change
  • XU Jianchu, PhD Executive Director
  • Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge
    (CBIK)
  • Http//www.cbik.org/ or http//cbik.ac.cn/

2
Outline
  • Introduction
  • Why IK Matters?
  • The roles of IK
  • Constraints
  • Creating space for IK

3
Why IK?
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Human Rights
  • Social Capital

4
What is CBIK?
  • CBIK is Chinese NGO, registered in 1995 with more
    than 25 staff
  • CBIK is dedicated to
  • Applying IK and technical innovations for
    resource governance
  • Access to biodiversity for sustainable livelihood
  • Intercultural dialogue and communication

5
CBIK Structure
  • IAB Local board
  • Executive directors
  • Watershed governance program
  • Community livelihood program
  • IK and education program
  • Capacity building
  • Communication
  • Institutional development

6
Yunnan the Roof of MMSEAFTA China ASEAN
Elevation Zones
7
Yunnan the Poor in the Paradise
Yi
8
Introduction of Issues
  • Know-How
  • Dynamics, diversity and complexity as
    human-ecology processes
  • Indigenous people objects or citizens in
    mountain regions?
  • Social justice common earth but uneven ground

CBIK What roles are there for NGOs and civil
society? CBIK as a learning institution growing
with civil society
9
What is IK?
  • Comovision (world views) indigenous ways of
    understanding the universe
  • Linguistic knowledge and technical practices
  • Knowledge transfer and adaptation mechanisms
  • Customary institutions

Hanis comovision about community
CBIK Issue How to understand other ways of
seeing and doing?
CBIK Action Small Grants Program for indigenous
researchers
10
Why IK Matters (1) Adaptation
  • IK
  • Complexity of upland resource dynamics and
    livelihoods
  • Importance of subjective understandings in
    explaining why people do, what they do, how they
    do
  • Different ways of knowing relate to different
    ecological and social niches

CBIK concerned Issue What other options for
promoting sustainable livelihoods can we see?
CBIK Action Promoting organic farming in upland
communities
11
Why IK Matters (2) Social and Environmental
Justice
  • IK is largely collective
  • IK is culturally embedded
  • Dialogue with IK systems can help to avoid
    socially undesirable outcomes, toward socially
    desirable outcomes (local sanction, equitable
    access, etc.)

CBIK Issue How can we promote social inclusion?
CBIK Action Developing community-led eco-tourism
models Workshop on Dams and Sustainable
Development, Oct.9-10, 2003
12
Why IK Matters (3) Efficiency
  • Sustainable Livelihoods depend on 
  • Biodiversity (natural capital)
  • Indigenous Knowledge (social capital)
  • Technical innovations (re-adaptation)
  • Knowledge transfer mechanisms (learning process)
  • Values and Consent, and (local governance)
  • Enabling environment (policies and markets)

CBIK Issue What is the contemporary relevance of
IK?
CBIK Action Participatory technology development
with indigenous community members, e.g. rattan
cultivation
13
Why IK Matters (4) Linking local and global
  • Globalization is not new
  • Local upland vs. lowland
  • Regional the Southern Silk Road in 122 B.C.
  • International Zhen He, Voyages in 1405-1433 A.D.
  • Trade, Migration (e.g. MMSEA), Expedition
  • What is new?
  • Global scale of interactions and their impacts
  • The prospect of irreversible changes
  • Global governance systems (unfair trade
    partnership)
  • CBIK Action
  • Training program on International Trade Law,
    Environment and Sustainable Development (IISD,
    IUCN, CBIK in collaboration with SEPA)
  • Translating IDRC Book Beyond Property Rights
  • Traditional Resource Rights Network (China, MMSEA)

14
The Roles of IK local level
  • Customary Authorities
  • Indigenous expertsgtgt (usually old)
    actorgtgtpowergtgtdecision-making for local
    accountability
  • Statutory Authorities (state nomination or local
    election)
  • Educated gtgt(young) actorgtgtpowergtgt
    decision-making for outside accountability
  • Can they work together?

CBIK Issue How does knowledge link to power
structures decision-makings?
CBIK Action Research on village elections and
resource governance
15
The Roles of IK Local - Outside interaction
  • Competing knowledge systems or conflicting
    objectives?
  • Peoples actions are driven by their objectives
  • Knowledge is brought to bear on the
    implementation of those objectives

CBIK Issue How to facilitate effective dialogues?
CBIK Action Providing training in participatory
methods for dialogue, e.g. Xishuangbanna Vocation
Training School
16
What prevents IKfrom being exercised?
  • IK linked to local objectives
  • Local objectives conflict with outside objectives
  • Conservation vs development
  • Capacity of the state (state lacks of knowledge,
    skills and interest)
  • Spatial scale conflicts (small v.s big)
  • Fine scale of knowledge in mosaic landscapes and
    mountain ecosystems
  • Temporal scale conflicts of interests
  • Profit maximization versus sustainable
    livelihoods (e.g. Upland Conversion Program in
    China)

CBIK Action Official and Vernacular
Identifications in the Making of the Modern World
17
Uneven Playing Field
  • Who make the laws?
  • Who has powers?
  • Who make the decisions?
  • Whose agenda accounted?
  • Nationality Autonomy Law in China rhetoric or
    practice?

CBIK Issue How can NGOs help address macro-level
constraints?
CBIK Action Policy research, e.g. YEDP-PRICA
18
Creating Space for IK
  • Representation powers, capacities,
    accountability relations
  • Resilience, re-adaptation and invisible hand
    mechanisms
  • Leveling the playing field
  • IPRs of indigenous knowledge
  • Traditional resource rights
  • Eco-and-fair trade
  • CBNRMgtgtgtCommunity-based education

CBIK Action Agro-Pastoralist Livelihoods Project
19
Agro-pastoralist Livelihoods
  • Improving understanding of agro-pastoralist
    livelihoods
  • Participatory Technology Development
  • Institutional innovation, and
  • Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation

20
Major Events by CBIK
  • Yunnan Initiative Version and actions for
    enhancing cultural and biological diversity, from
    Culture and Biodiversity Congress 2000
  • III MMSEA Conference Mountain festival with more
    150 indigenous peoples
  • For policy document Yunnan Initiative and III
    MMSEA proceedings, please download from website
    http//www.cbik.ac.cn/resources

21
Shangri-La The Way Ahead
Thanks!
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