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Raising the bar: recognizing the intricacies of cultural and ecological knowledge (CEK) in natural resource management

Orcherton, Dan F. (2011) Raising the bar: recognizing the intricacies of cultural and ecological knowledge (CEK) in natural resource management. BC Journals of Ecosystem and Management, 12 (3). pp. 55-82. ISSN 1488-4666

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In these rather tumultuous social and economic times, Aboriginal groups and natural resource practitioners often express the real need to look more closely at the importance and complexities of cultural ecological knowledge (CEK). To understand these intricacies and apply these principles on the ground, some theo- retical constructs and practical examples need to be highlighted. Such constructs and examples can help explain the divergent world views of Indigenous knowledge and Western science within natural resource management. The objective of this article is to synthesize current literature and contemporary thought on the importance and complexities of cultural ecological knowledge (CEK) in natural resource management. In addition, it examines practical examples of the differences and similarities between Indigenous knowl- edge and Western science. The scope of this article is the breadth of understanding of Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous Western scientists the world over, with the intended audience being natural resource managers, scientists/academics, and traditional knowledge practitioners. The author takes the position that natural resource managers should create social legitimacy processes through collaborative learning and systems-thinking approaches. These processes can often be validated through transfer of oral and written “ways of knowing,” even when there are divergent world views. Success relies on designing clear objec- tives and outcomes when incorporating cultural/ecological knowledge in resource management as well as implementing systematic and culturally sensitive heritage assessments and characterizing cultural pluralism. Finally, there is a need for managers to incorporate CEK and to facilitate legislative, political, and ethical processes that help create social and cultural legitimacy in natural resource management. keywords: collaborative learning; cultural ecological knowledge; cultural values; indigenous knowledge; natural resource management; oral knowledge; world views

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Divisions: Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2011 00:47
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2012 09:03

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