Safeguarding the Transmission of Local & Indigenous Knowledge of Nature

On the occasion of the EXPO 2005, Aichi
Exploring linkages between Cultural Diversity and Biological Diversity
Experts Meeting 14, 15 April 2005
Auditorium, Aichi Prefectural University, Nagoya, Japan

In an increasingly global world, the homogenisation of social and ecological systems is a growing concern. With 90% of world languages expected to disappear this century and biodiversity loss estimated at 100 times greater than natural rates, urgent measures are required to maintain the world's cultures and environments.

Cultural diversity and biological diversity are intertwined in multiple and complex ways. Much biodiversity is created, maintained and managed by local communities, with language, knowledge and know-how as tools and conceptual frameworks. To ensure the continuing dynamism of local knowledge and views of the world within indigenous communities, steps must be taken to safeguard their transmission from generation to generation.

What can be done to sustain the dynamism of knowledge and know-how in local & indigenous communities?

How can the transmission of traditional knowledge from elders to youth be revitalised?

The two-day International Experts Meeting addressed:

Acquisition and transmission of local knowledge of the natural world

- Language: vehicle of indigenous knowledge and of its transmission
- 'Doing, not saying': non-linguistic modes of transmission
- Schools: obstacles or vehicles for indigenous knowledge transmission ?
- National and international policy frameworks to enhance local & indigenous knowledge transmission

Cooperation: Aichi Prefectural University, Secretariat of EXPO 2005 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

For more information, download the draft working document prepared by the UNESCO Secretariat. This paper aims at providing a short introduction to the issues to be discussed as well as background information on the UNESCO perspective on local and indigenous knowledge and its transmission. The full conference report will be available soon.

Also available: Conference Report | Programme | List of Participants | Abstracts | Poster

Coordinating Team:

       - Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue, Culture Sector
       - Intangible Heritage Section, Culture Sector
       - Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) Project, Natural Sciences Sector
  • Japan Centre for Area Studies, National Museum of Ethnology

Aichi 2005 | JCAS web



Safeguarding the Transmission of Local and Indigenous Knowledge of Nature

Thursday, 14 April 2005

Welcoming Remarks: SASAKI Yuta, President, Aichi Prefectural University
Opening Remarks: OSHIKAWA Fumiko, ABE Ken-ichi, JCAS
Introduction: Douglas NAKASHIMA (background, topics, objectives, expected outcomes), UNESCO

Session 1. Ecosystem-Social System Interactions and Local Knowledge Transmission
Chair: ONUKI Yoshio (Little World Museum of Man)
Rapporteur: N. CRAWHALL

Moderate Management and Use of Natural Resources in the Andes and the Himalayas
INAMURA Tetsuya, Aichi Prefectural University, JAPAN

Cultural Diversity and Ecology: Building Yunnan Ethnic Cultural and Ecological Communities
YIN Shao Tin, Yunnan University, CHINA

Integration of Diverse Societies to Achieve Harmony in Natural Resource Use: MAP, A Symbol of Collaboration in Southwestern Amazonia
Elsa MENDOZA, Institute of Environmental Research of Amazonia, BRAZIL

Culture, Food, and Biodiversity: Shaping Crop Evolution
Pablo EYZAGUIRRE, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute(IPGRI), ITALY


Session 2. Indigenous Knowledge Transmission: Characteristics, Threats and Challenges
Chair: YAMADA Isamu (Kyoto University) / Lucien CHABASON (Commissariat General de Pavillon de la France, Exposition Universelle de 2005, Aichi Japan)
Rapporteur: J. ISHIZAWA

Traditional Environmental Language, Knowledge, Practice, and Biodiversity in Venezuela: Looking at Linkages, Transmission Processes, Current Trends, and Conservation Actions
Stanford ZENT, Venezuelan Centre for Scientific Research, VENEZUELA

A Balanced Diet: Preserving Development, Developing Preservation - A Case of Yui Labor System, Shirakawa-go, Japan
Ron CARLE, National Museum of Ethnology, JAPAN

Hunter-Gatherers in Africa: Threats and Opportunities - Cases of South Africa, Tanzania and Gabon
Nigel CRAWHALL, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee, SOUTH AFRICA

Loss of Traditional Knowledge, Loss of Culture and Livelihood: A Case of Urak Lawoi Sea Nomadic People in the Andaman Sea
Supin WONGBUSARAKUM, Deputy Investigator on a UNESCO and NOAA co-funded project, THAILAND


Session 3. ROUND TABLE : Policy Challenges for Local Knowledge Transmission
Chair: Paul. JORION (former Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
Rapporteur: S. MORRISON

Indigenous Knowledge and the School Curriculum: A Case Study from Botswana
Herman BATIBO, University of Botswana, BOTSWANA

Rethinking Vanuatu Education: The Indigenous Knowledge Component
John NIROA, Ministry of Education, VANUATU

Venezuela in Search of a Participative and Intercultural Education for the Survival of its Indigenous Cultures
Marie Claude MATTÉI, Comisión Nacional de Cultura y Educación de los Pueblos Indígenas Venezuela, VENEZUELA


Friday, 15 April 2005

Session 4. ROUND TABLE : From Policy to Practice: challenges and lessons learned
Chair: Pablo ENZYGUERRE(International Plant Genetic Resources Institute)
Rapporteur : S. ZENT

Sustaining Indigenous Languages and Indigenous Knowledge: Developing Community Training Approaches for the 21st Century in Maluku Region, Indonesia
Margaret FLOREY, Monash University, AUSTRALIA

The Transmission of Knowledge: The Case of Coastal Communities in Brittany
Paul JORION/ Geneviève DELBO, former Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) ,BELGIUM/ Musée national des arts et traditions populaires, FRANCE

What are the Future Challenges and Possibilities in Sustaining Transmission of Local Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Practice for the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Human Well-Being? : Maori Cases
Sandy MORRISON, University of Waikat, NEW ZEALAND

Biodiversity Regeneration and Intercultural Knowledge Transmission : Andean Cases
Jorge ISHIZAWA, Proyecto Andino de Tecnologias Campesinas, PERU


Session 5. GENERAL DEBATE : Identifying Key Concerns, Priorities and Follow-Up Action
Rapporteurs: M.CHIBA and S. KUBE (UNESCO)

Concluding Debate

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