Conference Panels

INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE FOR ECOLOGICAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Convenor: M Zulfiquar Ali Islam, Department of Sociology, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh
Email: drzulfiquarai@gmail.com

It has been well recognized that ecological resource management is a valuable endeavour to provide information relating to the status and condition of ecological resources the people use those for meeting their multifarious needs. We often mistakenly formulate policies for conserving and restoring the ecological sites by ignoring the local people’s skills and traditional conservation techniques. But there is no denying the fact, that these traditionalists around the ecosystems possess more valuable indigenous wisdom to nurture the natural resources in undoubtedly effective ways. Typically, the indigenous people have their own experience and knowledge to exploit surrounding ecological resources. This knowledge is learned through practical experiences and very often it is transmitted from one generation to the next through unwritten and oral communication. The hidden value of indigenous knowledge is yet to be explored and utilized as a sustainable development component by the academicians and development practitioners. In many places around the world, the indigenous people possess valuable traditional environmental knowledge through interacting with their proximate ecosystem. Unfortunately, however, many such people are now repressed and exterminated by discriminatory laws and policies formulated in the name of development. They are disappearing very swiftly as are the endangered species and habitats, which now require the holistic approach of ecological resource management. For these reasons we should integrate the indigenous knowledge with that of scientific ventures to ensure environmental development in the real sense of the term. Sociologists should work with the natural and social scientists, along with the policy makers and development practitioners, to help evolve a sustainable model for ecological resource management. Accordingly, this session invites proposals from the academicians of different disciplines, and also people from different regions of the globe, to encourage diversity within ecological resource management initiatives. This session is wedded to receiving qualitative and/or quantitative and/or mixed approaches of finalizing the ecological essays aptly dealt with the indigenous knowledge the people usually utilize in ecological resource management.

Keywords: Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Conservation Techniques, Local Management, Ecological Resources

  • SESSION 1     Room: 162 ARTS     Tues 5/7/2011     Time: 11.00-12.30     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Indigenous Knowledge in Land Management for Sustainable Ecosystem Services in three Sites in Ethiopia
      • Abebe Shiferaw, Hans Hurni, Gete Zeleke, Berhanu Debele, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), IPMS project (Alaba PLW)
    • Paper 2: Ecological Resource Management: A Case Study of Indian River Ganga
      • Ashok Kumar Sinha, Geography, Magadh University
    • Paper 3: Indigenous Ecological Knowledge: An Overview from Indian Situation
      • Amitabha Sarkar and Samira Dasgupta, Anthropological Survey of India
  • SESSION 2     Room: 162 ARTS     Tues 5/7/2011     Time: 13.30-15.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Impact of a Growing Population in Agricultural Resource Management: Exploring the Global Situation with a Micro-level Example
      • A. H. M. Zehadul Karim, International Islamic University Malaysia
    • Paper 2: Indigenous Knowledge and Social Landscapes of the Indigenous Kukis of North-East India
      • Ngamjahao Kipgen and Vibha Arora, Indian Institute of Technology
    • Paper 3: Traditional Knowledge of Symbiosis and Its Usage in Rice Cultivation Systems
      • Joseph Sebastian Paimpillil, Center for Earth Research and Environment Management Cochin
  • SESSION 3     Room: 162 ARTS     Wed 6/7/2011     Time: 11.00-12.30     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Herbal Medicine of the Tribals in India: Institutional Arrangements and Safeguards for Ecological Resource Management
      • P Venkata Rao, University of Hyderabad
    • Paper 2: IKS and Changing Agro-Ecosystem of the Apatanis of Arunachal Pradesh: A Study on a Frontier Tribe in Transition
      • Sarit K. Chaudhuri, Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies
    • Paper 3: Health, Illness and Therapeutics: A Study on Indigenous Knowledge among the Lepchas
      • Sumitabha Chakraborty, Anthropological Survey of India
    • Paper 4: Indigenous Knowledge System and Sustainable Resource Use Practice in Galo Community, Arunachal Pradesh, India
      • Jumyir Basar, Rajiv Gandhi University
  • SESSION 4     Room: 162 ARTS     Wed 6/7/2011     Time: 13.30-15.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Recognizing Tribal Rights to Forest Management: Changing Paradigm in India
      • Muzaffar Hussein Assadi, University of Mysore
    • Paper 2: Medicinal Knowledge in Asur Tribe of Jharkhand: An Overview of Netarhat Area
      • Ambrish Gautam, Ranchi University
    • Paper 3: Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Forest Conservation and Recent Management Changes in the Kakamega Forest Region, Western Kenya
      • Kambona O Ouma, Maseno University
  • SESSION 5     Room: 162 ARTS     Wed 6/7/2011     Time: 15.30-17.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Ecosystem Management Approach: A Story of Building Disaster Resilient Community
      • Saadia Majeed, ERD, Ministry of Finance Bangladesh
    • Paper 2: Ethno-forestry in India: A Need for Ecology and Resource Management
      • Nayak, Rajesh Kumar, J.P. University & Shashi Kant Srivastava, Lucknow University
    • Paper 3: Global Deforestation and Indigenous Knowledge: With Special Reference to Nomadic Birhore Palamau
      • Surendra Pandey, Ranchi University
  • SESSION 6     Room: 162 ARTS     Thurs 7/7/2011     Time: 11.00-12.30     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Ecological Resource Management among Tribals of Orissa: A Case Study
      • Motilal Dash, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT)
    • Paper 2: Indigenous Practices for Ecological Conservation: A Study in Tribal Culture
      • Prabhat K. Singh, Ranchi University
    • Paper 3: Indigenous Tribal Communities and Ecological Management
      • Farhad Mollick & L. P. Pateriya, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Vishwavidyalaya
    • Paper 4: Dumagats: Potential Almaciga (Agathis philippinensis Warb.) Resin Tappers in the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges
      • Arsenio B. Ella, Moreno L. Santander, Jr. and Emmanuel P. Domingo Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), Philippines Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
  • SESSION 7     Room: 162 ARTS     Thurs 7/7/2011     Time: 13.30-15.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Indigenous Knowledge System and Common People’s Rights
      • Debabrata Das Gupta and Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswa
    • Paper 2: The Modern Value and Protection Studies of Chinese Minorities’ Traditional Knowledge - On the Strength of the Field Study of the Tujia Nationality’s Traditional Knowledge
      • Guixim Bai, South Central University for Nationalities/Ethnological Museum Wuhan
    • Paper 3: Ecological Resource Management and Dhaka City: Critical Scope for Decentralized Water Management Systems
      • Shajjad Hossain, BRAC University
  • SESSION 8     Room: 162 ARTS     Thurs 7/7/2011     Time: 15.30-17.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Indigenous knowledge of fishing in Southern West Bengal, India
      • Sumahan Bandyopadhyay, N.D. College
    • Paper 2: Traditional Knowledge Associated With Edible Insects among the Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh in North-East India
      • Sampat Ghosh and J. Chakravorty, Rajiv Gandhi University
    • Paper 3: Indigenous Environmental Knowledge and Food Security: Sample Data from Odisha, India
      • Satya Narayana Ratha and Ranju Hasini Sahoo, MGN Institute of Research and Social Action

SESSION 1

Chair: Abebe Shiferaw

Paper 1: Indigenous Knowledge in Land Management for Sustainable Ecosystem Services in three Sites in Ethiopia

Abebe Shiferaw, Hans Hurni, Gete Zeleke, Berhanu Debele, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), IPMS project (Alaba PLW)

Indigenous knowledge in land management has played vital role in ecosystem management for generations in many parts of Ethiopia. This case study examines indigenous knowledge system in land management among the Amhara (in Anjeni and Maybar, Northern Ethiopia) and Wolaiyta ethnic group (in Gununo, Southern Ethiopia). Development and research has been taking place in these study sites since 1980s. However, indigenous knowledge in land management was not studied across the study sites, to examine innovative land management practices for carbon sequestration and sustainable ecosystem services. This case study describes terminology, practices in indigenous land management and identifies most innovative ones. It also examines role of indigenous knowledge in land technology adoption, its methods of transfer, contribution to in efforts to overcome land degradation and wise-use of soil, water and vegetation resources and overall ecological management in study sites. The study is based on results of field inventory of indigenous and modern land management technologies, group discussion and key informants and household interview and community validation. Findings show that indigenous knowledge in land has contributed to adoption and local modification of introduced technologies in three sites. This study suggests most innovative indigenous land management practices and shows the role of knowledge system in ecosystem management. On the bases of the findings, recommendations were suggested to make use of existing indigenous knowledge for sustainable ecosystem service in the study areas.

Paper 2: Ecological Resource Management: A Case Study of Indian River Ganga

Ashok Kumar Sinha, Geography, Magadh University

The entire Ganges region comprises of rich Indian culture, geographical diversity with admirable bio-diversity. The long river Ganga in the form of natural water resource like any other river is very important for the ecology and environment of the entire region. The water of river Ganga has traditionally been regarded as pure, life giving & inexhaustible gift of nature. But in recent decades rapid development of industries and agriculture & urban growth however, put severe strains on the river and, to an extent, have resulted in degradation of its quality. Problem of water pollution have not only surfaced but also begun to assume serious dimensions in certain stretches of the long course of the river Ganga. In 1985 the Ganga Action Plan I (GAP) and GAP II plans also covered certain class I towns along the bank of the river Ganga which include interception, diversion and treatment of municipal sewage, constructions of pumping stations, toilet complexes, bathing ghats and electric crematorium. Environmental education & awareness among the masses is essential along with ecological resource management. The main objectives of this research paper are to know about water resource along with its importance, problems and solutions for ecological resource management with special reference to the river Ganga. Various literatures and reports have been consulted and related data have been presented in tabular form for proper analysis. Area visited and samples collected.

Paper 3: Indigenous Ecological Knowledge: An Overview from Indian Situation

Amitabha Sarkar and Samira Dasgupta, Anthropological Survey of India

The indigenous ecological knowledge system is embedded in such ethnic groups who are eking out his survival strategy and existence from such ecological niche for his survival and sustenance. Majority of Indian tribal groups are nurtured in forest environment and accordingly their life and culture is cherished. Indigenous ecological knowledge is more focused oriented New ethnography where cognitive aspects of structures of culture in relation to its environment is understood, that is, folk taxonomy where application of traditional knowledge system is embedded which is acquired over generation being one of the tool of survival strategy. The present paper highlights on Sundarban situation where Chotanagpur tribal groups being immigrant ethnic groups adapted the local condition for survival as well as a tribal group- Abujh Maria of Bastar, presently Chhattishgarh state, have depended upon their immediate geographical environment not only for livelihood but also for various aspects of their life such as local environmental resources are also utilized for ailment which is the product of age-old interaction with their local environment.

SESSION 2

Chair: A. H. M. Zehadul Karim, International Islamic University Malaysia

Paper 1: Impact of a Growing Population in Agricultural Resource Management: Exploring the Global Situation with a Micro-level Example

A. H. M. Zehadul Karim, International Islamic University Malaysia

While land use practices often vary greatly across the world, their ultimate purpose usually remains the same for us to having extracted the natural resources for instant societal need, knowing clearly the severe impact of it on environment. A decade ago, David Pimental and his associates (1998) reported to us that that at least ten million hectare of arable land is now being eroded and also abandoned throughout the world every year, and consequently to compensate such loss, a huge amount of replacement is claimed from forest and other sources for agriculture and human settlement. Accordingly, the demographers and environmentalists for that reason have come up with raising issues that main challenge for environmental management throughout the world is to determine our planet’s capacity to sustain such a huge amount of burgeoning human population. The paper thus assesses specifically the impact of growing population on agricultural resource-base around the world creating depressing pressure on sustainable environmental management. To exemplify such a trend of agricultural land use, the paper incorporated a detailed example from an ethnographic case study on indigenous practices and experiences associated with the scientific agricultural knowledge to cope up with and/or adapt to the adverse situation caused by the severe impact of a growing population on agricultural sector in rural Bangladesh. Finally, the paper concludes with a modest caution for the people around the world saying that a prudently managed environment and a judicious use of it for our future survival is fully dependent on having an accurate policy planning to keep the population below optimum level.

Paper 2: Indigenous Knowledge and Social Landscapes of the Indigenous Kukis of North-East India

Ngamjahao Kipgen and Vibha Arora, Indian Institute of Technology

The Kuki tribes of North-East India have a close relationship with the forests for the past centuries. Forests to them act as a culturally significant and multidimensionally appropriated space, and are meaningful in every religious, social and economic life. The paper seeks to examine the traditional beliefs and practices connected with the age-old practice of jhumming (shifting cultivation) among the Kuki tribes living in North-east India. We explain how their beliefs and practices are a form of “traditional ecological knowledge” (TEK) which has had a great functional value for them and conserved nature. This paper is based on fieldwork in Manipur during 2008-09 based on interview and participant observation and review of relevant secondary literature. The indigenous knowledge are stored in peoples’ memories and activities and is expressed in stories, songs, folklore, dances, myths, cultural values, beliefs, rituals, agricultural practices, and so on. Ideas of nature and rootedness in the forest economy are central to the Kuki imaginary and their cosmology. This is also how Kuki identity is constituted and how they distinguish themselves from other groups such as the Naga who inhabit the same ecological landscape. The ecological landscape of the Kuki tribes demonstrates a close interconnection between their jhumming practice, religious beliefs and their social organization. This inseparable linkage is well-recorded in their folklore and songs. These socio-cultural practices are today instrumental in affirming their indigeneity.

Paper 3: Traditional Knowledge of Symbiosis and Its Usage in Rice Cultivation Systems

Joseph Sebastian Paimpillil, Center for Earth Research and Environment Management Cochin

A number of unknown properties of rice have been reported in ancient Indian Ayurvedic literature. Farmers have quite a sophisticated knowledge evolved and gained through their close interaction within natural and physical micro-environment and cultural adaptation, which are recognized now more eco-friendly and sustainable. They have developed their own innovative strategy of location specific rice cropping. One noteworthy example is the Indigenous rice (Pokkalli) crop and shrimp management in the brackish water ecosystem /wetlands of southwest India. In the coastal belts of Kerala (S.W India), Indigenous knowledge is utilized in Pokkalli paddy – Shrimp cultivation and in other fishing practices. The farmers have developed sustainable mechanism for alternate farming of paddy and shrimp utilizing the ‘symbiotic relationship’ between Pokkalli paddy and shrimp. The faming practice is highly eco- friendly as no fertilizer or pesticides are used in the farms or artificial food supplements to shrimps. The farmers made the maximum use of their traditional knowledge in selecting the paddy variety, farms and water management etc. which helped them in augmenting their income from agricultural operations. These traditional paddy varieties even withstood the flooding by the 2004 tsunami. The traditional knowledge about tidal phases, seasonal availability and migration of shrimp to the estuarine waters are used in deciding the harvesting period of shrimps. There is a necessity of documenting the indigenous knowledge so that it is brought into the public domain, to prevent the unscrupulous exploitation of indigenous knowledge by interested parties for generation of personal or corporate gains.

Discussant: Saroj Arora

SESSION 3

Chair: P Venkata Rao

Paper 1: Herbal Medicine of the Tribals in India: Institutional Arrangements and Safeguards for Ecological Resource Management

P Venkata Rao, University of Hyderabad

Tribal medicinal practices play significant role in dealing with the health problems of the people. The tribal communities have several effective remedies to various ailments, which are part of their oral traditions. The tribal people have immense knowledge of medicinal plants and have been the protectors of these plants and knowledge. The knowledge of the tribal communities on herbal medicine played an important part in the development of other systems of medicine such as Allopathy and Ayurveda. Western medicine denigrated and undermined tribal medicinal system as they belong to ‘backward’ tribal communities. Tribal practices are misunderstood as magico- religious rituals and superstitious beliefs. Experts stress upon identification, documentation, validation and protection of tribal medicinal practices. But, only activity taken up is growing of medicinal plants in tribal areas by various agencies. Commercial interests dominate the present day focus on medicinal herbs and indigenous knowledge. The indigenous knowledge of the tribals is being appropriated by business organizations, which patent their products. In this backdrop, the present paper discusses various facets of Indigenous knowledge of tribals on medicinal herbs and the management of these ecological resources.

Paper 2: IKS and Changing Agro-Ecosystem of the Apatanis of Arunachal Pradesh: A Study on a Frontier Tribe in Transition

Sarit K. Chaudhuri, Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies

The Apatanis are one of the major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, India, inhabiting in and around Ziro, under Lower Subansiri district at an altitude of 5500 feet. It was Haimendorf , an Anthropologist, through his first book (1962) made the world aware about the unique sustainable agro-ecosystem of the Apatanis, the knowledge of which transmitted orally from one generation to another. However, around 1960s, with the induced initiative, a new system of fish farming was introduced along with their traditional paddy cultivation for which they are now known even beyond the North East Region. However, it is equally evident that the Apatanis are one of the progressive tribes of Arunachal in terms of all possible indicators of development which has obviously lead to the occupational mobility in spite of their prime dependence on agriculture. This paper not only tries to relocate the efficacy of IKS in the management of traditional agro-ecosystem but also attempts to understand the emerging realities from the contemporary perspectives which made an impact on agrarian system as evident in the crisis of labor in domestic front, introduction of high yielding varieties of seeds, fertilizers etc as an induced development strategy of the state. Finally this will help us to understand the nature of continuity and change in agro-ecosystem of the Apatanis who are passing through the phase of transition in a frontier state.

Paper 3: Health, Illness and Therapeutics: A Study on Indigenous Knowledge among the Lepchas

Sumitabha Chakraborty, Anthropological Survey of India

Life of an individual is concerned with ‘health’. The idea of ill-health disturbs the rhythm of life and performance capabilities of the individual being. All human groups, no matter how small or technologically primitive, have always been devising ways and means for taking care of the health because health is a property and illness is a state. Health and illness have close linkages with the therapeutic and preventive practices, which have shown variations throughout the ages. The health-sickness process is a tangible veracity for all people all over the world. Healers across the world might work on different premise and follow diverse practices however the main goal is to cure sickness and maintain good health. The Lepchas, an indigenous community of Sikkim Himalayas and being an inhabitant to nature with their tangible knowledge utilizes the natural biotic resources in one hand and prefer to undertake therapy by means of belief system to identify illness causation and its cure. To them, knowledge is warranted by direct experience based upon cognitive spheres. It is entirely concerned with a range of intellectual products what they always try to maintain from generation to generation. The present article is an outcome of empirical research work conducted in various Lepcha villages of west and north districts of Sikkim in various phases from 2007-2010. In this article an attempt has been made to highlight how effectively the Lepchas maintain such tradition and what they will do in critical health disorder.

Paper 4: Indigenous Knowledge System and Sustainable Resource Use Practice in Galo Community, Arunachal Pradesh, India

Jumyir Basar, Rajiv Gandhi University

In response to Brundtland Commission Report 1986, Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS) has been emphasised as one of the strategies of sustainable resource management in order to achieve sustainable development. Before the world community realised the importance of indigenous knowledge in sustainable resource management, this knowledge system has been influencing resource management practices of traditional communities like the tribes for securing their sustainable livelihoods since time immemorial. Even today, these communities possess traditional knowledge which has been recognised useful in eco- restoration. As a matter of fact, tribal communities in particular have been playing a vital role in preservation and management of natural resources within the frame of their indigenous knowledge, and it is not a surprise that about 80% of the world’s cultural and biological diversity have been reported in their inhabited regions. In this context it is imperative to explore the human nature relationship of tribal communities to understand the essence of conservation and sustainable ethics of resource use. The present paper makes an attempt in this regard with an ethnographic study of resource use practices of Galo tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, India as case study. The paper proposes to present the ethnography of traditional resource use practices in Galo community along social, political, economic, religious and technical axes in cultural perspective.

Discussant: Paimpillil, Joseph Sebastian

SESSION 4

Chair: Muzaffar Hussein Assadi, University of Mysore

Paper 1: Recognizing Tribal Rights to Forest Management: Changing Paradigm in India

Muzaffar Hussein Assadi, University of Mysore

There are not less than 700 tribal communities living in different national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserve forests in India. One of the major problems that these tribal are facing is non-recognition of right to forest management. The ttibal population incidentally have been the victims of different acts as well as the big projects. For the first time their traditional rights such as right to live in the forest land, right to collect and dispose of minor forest produce , right to water bodies, including gazing ,biodiversity, intellectual property , traditional knowledge system have been recognized . Most important is the “Right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use”; this paradigm shift, it is believed would completely change the discourse, stereotyping about tribals in India. The paper is designed to focus on the policies and politics that denied such traditional rights as right to management and to evaluate the paradigm shift and its implication on tribal population. Material will be collected from interacting with large number of tribal population in national park and tiger reserve forest. Focus will be made on the tribal method of managing the forest. Paradigm shift has partially helped the tribal population to recognize their traditional right to manage the forest; however its complete success depends upon the agencies that implement the policy.

Paper 2: Medicinal Knowledge in Asur Tribe of Jharkhand: An Overview of Netarhat Area

Ambrish Gautam, Ranchi University

Asur is a primitive tribe of Jharkhand. The main occupation of this tribe is iron smelting. The bulk of the Asur pharmacology is indigenous. There are many natural remedies, decoctions of forest herbs or healing lotions, ingredients of which come mostly from the forests of Netarhat Plateau. To the Asur, all fevers alike and they hardly make any difference between simple fever, malarial fever, Pneumonia fever typhoid fever, influenza etc. Similarly, they treat all stomach pains on the same footing whether it is dysenteric pain or constipation or some other intestinal disorder. So, far as diagnosis of the disease is concerned, they face difficulty, particularly if confronted with any thing different from the common disease of everyday occurrence. Most of the diseases are symptomatic and the name is generally taken from some easily recognized and striking symptom observed. At times, the same diseases may be known by several names. For example in ordinary fever, the root of chitwair (Plumbago zeylanica) is used for stomach pain. In heat fever, the root of satawar (Asparagus Racemosus) is used. In this paper I have shown the real picture of Asur tribe in their medicinal use. Because for living in dense forest areas they are completely dependent over the forest products for their treatment and they know the better uses of forest plant and their medicinal use.

Paper 3: Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Forest Conservation and Recent Management Changes in the Kakamega Forest Region, Western Kenya

Kambona O Ouma, Maseno University

The Kakamega Rainforest exhibits a unique biodiversity and habitat rarity, which makes it a sanctuary for a remarkable diversity of plants, birds, insects and other forms of animal life not found anywhere else in Kenya. Over the years, the extent of agricultural land use and rate of resource extraction from Kakamega Forest has increased to cope with the increasing human population. As a result, large areas of the Forest have been cleared to provide additional land for agriculture. The Forest has therefore shrunk in size resulting into loss of unique biodiversity. Despite the forest destruction witnessed over the years, the management of the Forest still focuses on protectionist philosophy which has been characterised by law enforcement and licensing of permitted extraction of forest produce. Subsequently, the local community has been largely alienated from active management of the Forest. This paper argues that sustainable management of the Forest cannot be guaranteed through continued use of law enforcement alone. Instead, an integrated conservation strategy in which traditional ecological knowledge existing among the forest adjacent community forms a key component to the existing management approach is proposed. This will bring a sense of conservation ethic and forest ownership among the local community members. Although the approach may initially be met with scientific challenges, traditional ecological knowledge due to its nature and mode of transfer, stands out to be a strong conservation pillar for Kakamega Forest.

Discussant: Gupta, Hemant K.

SESSION 5

Chair: TBA

Paper 1: Ecosystem Management Approach: A Story of Building Disaster Resilient Community

Saadia Majeed, ERD, Ministry of Finance Bangladesh

Vulnerability of any natural disasters severely compromise with the existing ecosystem. Each time natural disaster exacerbates the impact of environmental degradation, which affects natural processes, alters humanity’s resource base and increases vulnerability of at risk community, in terms of livelihood and natural resource depletion. During any crisis period ecosystems play a key in rural livelihood and in many instances, our local knowledge and institutions have developed mechanisms over many generations of trial and error that enable them to cope with crisis in change of ecosystems. Thereof these ecosystems has undergone various short-term and long-term cyclical changes due to frequent disasters, corrupted management practices and local institutions over time. An effective approach of ecosystem manage¬ment could integrate development planning and risk reduction strategies to reduce disaster impacts and improve both livelihoods and biodiversity outcomes. Through a combination of theoretical discussion and field survey following participatory methods in four disaster prone districts of Bangladesh , this paper has argued that ecosystem management approach for sustainable livelihood restoration is a better alternative and the approach which is continuously overlooked. From this ground, the paper has outlined livelihood capitals of at risk community, their coping and adaptive strategies and the options for ecosystem management approach. It has also demonstrated the dynamic interaction between livelihood and ecological systems and the institutional gaps and changes to cope during aftermath of disasters.

Paper 2: Ethno-forestry in India: A Need for Ecology and Resource Management

Rajesh Kumar Nayak, J.P. University & Shashi Kant Srivastava, Lucknow University

The ethno-forestry encompasses the skills, experiences and insights of the indigenous people living in forests applied not only to improve their livelihood but for maintaining ecosystem and its biodiversity. It is the creation, conservation, management and utilization of forest resources by local communities through traditional practices and folk beliefs. It is interesting to note that traditional indigenous knowledge and environmental management has existed even before and developed from the experiences gained over the centuries and adapted to the local cultures and environment and transmitted orally from generation to generation. Today, the indigenous people are treasure house of immense knowledge and capability which they utilize to maintain their own livelihood and also the sustainability of the eco system. They have played a vital role in the regeneration, conservation and sustainable development of the forest.. The indigenous knowledge offers a new model for developments that are both ecologically and socially sound and useful for scientists as well as the planners to recognize the neglected people and duly support for the cause of sustainable development against the growing challenges of economic development vis-à-vis environmental hazards and a rapidly declining resource base in this Global era. Present paper is an effort to discuss the ethno- forestry i.e. the indigenous knowledge of local communities, tribes on forest from ancient Vedic period to modern context, its importance and need in conservation of precious resources and eradication of ecological imbalances through various case studies of indigenous people inhabiting the forest land of India.

Paper 3: Global Deforestation and Indigenous Knowledge: With Special Reference to Nomadic Birhore Palamau

Surendra Pandey, Ranchi University

Birhore and forest has an intimate relationship. Traditionally they were dependent over the forest for their livelihood like food, fuel, housing and medicinal requirement. Birhore is nomadic, less developed, dependent upon forest nomadic tribal group of Jharkhand . This is due to their socio-economic importance i.e. forest is lifeline for the livelihood. Their economic activity is to sell forest produce, hunting, food gathering, collecting medicinal herbs, honey and honeybee. As well as economic, their religious importance is too high through forest. They believe that their ancestor, God lives in dense forest area. So the forest area is sacred for them. Since 1991, after India adopted the path of globalization, many changes have occurred in our country. If we talk about its impact over tribal’s they are more affected then other people. Because for spreading the globalization process, minerals, mines, land and forest some important key parts. And since these all types of commodities are available in tribal dominated area so they are much affected through this. In this paper, I have tried to show the impact of global deforestation process over nomadic tribe birhore of Palamu area. For this I have visited and collected all data through primary sources. This topic is relevance and related to conference themes because of its ecological and indigenous knowledge importance. I have worked at the topic tribal and their ecological importance.

SESSION 6

Chair: M Zulfiquar Ali Islam, Sociology, University of Rajshahi

Paper 1: Ecological Resource Management among Tribals of Orissa: A Case Study

Motilal Dash, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT)

The tribal population of Orissa State in India - a population of over 7 million continues to be in subsistence economy. As the State has not been able to redress the long standing grievances of the tribals, the violent movements like the Maoists have taken roots and gained in strength in tribal areas of the State. Realizing the growing problems of poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, insurgency and environmental issues adversely affecting tribal’s lives, the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) at Bhubaneswar was established through a private initiative in the year 1993 to address the aforesaid issues. It provides education, accommodation, food, clothing & health care, life skills promotion, vocational training totally free of cost from Kindergarten to Post Graduate level to 12,355 tribal students. The change agents i.e. the ‘tribal students’ while returning to their own habitats, after getting education and training from KISS, are acting as catalytic players of retaining their old traditions substantiated with the required changes accepted by their communities for the ecological resource management. Looking into the indigenous/traditional knowledge system that has historically equipped the tribals to deal with the changes in the nature around them – efforts are made to explore how and to what extent the tribals are/shall be capable of retaining the capacity to accommodate and adapt to the ongoing or any future changes, how the community’s value system that facilitate the new knowledge acceptability in society to deal with the variations that the climate change brings about.

Paper 2: Indigenous Practices for Ecological Conservation: A Study in Tribal Culture

Prabhat K. Singh, Ranchi University

The traditional customary and indigenous practices regulate the people in maintaining the environmental equilibrium , which also ensure their livelihood socially, economically and culturally. There is a wide spread misconception that the tribal people have done much damage to forest in Jharkhand or in India. It is the greed of the urban societies for increasing standards of life, and their demands on wood for buildings, furniture, fuel, paper etc. that has resulted in dwindling of forest areas. The tribal has actually protected the forests for the simple reason that his very survival depends on the good tree cover in his environs. Further, tradition has favoured conservation of the environment through such institutions as sacred forests and religious grooves, sacred trees, and also of valuable germ plasm of plant wealth through cultivation of traditional land races of crops. Many tribals have not favoured adoption of high yielding improved varieties. This latter aspect has received recognition only recently, and the disastrous effects of monoculture of trees and crops or agriculture of few improved varieties over vast tracts is realized by very knowledgeable peers and policy makers.

Paper 3: Indigenous Tribal Communities and Ecological Management

Farhad Mollick & L. P. Pateriya, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Vishwavidyalaya

The tribals’ relation with forest are not merely economic in character, there are also aesthetic and ethical dimensions. Forest is the home, source of livelihood and part of life for tribals. Man is influenced by his environment and, in turn, influences the environment. No body can ignore the impact of environment on the life and culture and interrelation between man and his environment. But Tiger Reserve Project is based on unproven assumption that local tribal communities living in and around Tiger Reserve have a negative impact on wildlife. Biodiversity is being threatened by local communities. They must be relocating outside the boundaries of reserve. The Ministry of Environment and Forest declared the Draft National Environment Policy 2004. It states that “human being are at the centre for sustainable development” and the “environment protection is an integral part of the development”. Under the heading ‘forest and wildlife’, it has been recognized that “forests are the traditional homes of forest dwelling tribes”. Under the Forest Right Bill 2006, the forest dwelling scheduled tribes receive ownership rights over land and forest. In turn the communities are obliged to apply conservation and protection measures. But as per provisions of Forest Right Act, 2006, under section-4, subsection 2 of Chapter-III, the forest department has begun widespread across the country. The paper therefore also aims to understand the conflict between tribal and conservation of wildlife.

Paper 4: Dumagats: Potential Almaciga (Agathis philippinensis Warb.) Resin Tappers in the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges

Arsenio B. Ella, Moreno L. Santander, Jr. and Emmanuel P. Domingo Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), Philippines Department of Science and Technology (DOST)

Dumagats are the main indigenous people found in the Sierra Madre mountain ranges up north at the side of Isabela and Aurora provinces. Within the forest, hardwoods like dipterocarps, narra and almaciga trees, sources of the popular almaciga resins, are abundant enough to sustain the local wood industries that need these raw materials. Pacific Timber Export Corporation (PATECO) and Luzon Mahogany Timber, Inc. (LUZMATIM), logging companies operating in the said areas, requested FPRDI to conduct training course on proper methods of harvesting almaciga resins on 26-27 July 2006 for 46 participants. Held in Dilasag, Aurora and Dinapigue, Isabela, the training had the following objectives: a) to introduce the scientific way of tapping almaciga to the Dumagats; b) to rectify the crude practices in almaciga resin collection presently employed by the tappers in the area; and c) to encourage almaciga tappers to preserve almaciga trees, enhance their yield and sustain their production.

Discussant: Ratha, Satya Narayana and Ranju Hasini Sahoo

SESSION 7

Chair: Debabrata Das Gupta, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswa

Paper 1: Indigenous Knowledge System and Common People’s Rights

Debabrata Das Gupta and Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswa

Indigenous Knowledge System is being increasingly utilized to identify useful species and methods for preservation, processing and application of those species. Growing popular unrest among indigenous communities because once bits of knowledge have been removed from the local in situ system, they lose control over information as mechanisms are not enough to protect this right. The potential of IK both for expanding scientific technical knowledge and for empowering its owners are overwhelming. The study of indigenous knowledge related to natural resources in academia over the last four or five decades falls into two broad categories: (a) ethnoscience and (b) human ecology. It involves a range of disciplines within the human and environmental sciences. Ethnoscience refers largely to local knowledge systems that relate ethnobotany, ethnozoology, ethnomedicine, ethnoveterinary and so on. IK is threatened from three sources as: (a) loss of indigenous people’s base through the destruction of the rain forests and their displacements by government projects or through commercial user of natural resources. (b) the introduction of modern practices of farming, and (c) IK is increasingly endangered by misappropriation of this knowledge by outside researchers. Advocates of IK in development argue that we should aim to play off the different perspectives, the strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages of different knowledge traditions to improve our overall understanding of issues and problems by way of generating synergy between them. Perhaps the aim should be equitable negotiation, which is a central tenet of local knowledge in participatory development.

Paper 2: The Modern Value and Protection Studies of Chinese Minorities’ Traditional Knowledge - On the Strength of the Field Study of the Tujia Nationality’s Traditional Knowledge

Guixim Bai, South Central University for Nationalities/Ethnological Museum Wuhan

Women have developed and used location specific knowledge and practices on different Traditional knowledge is a practical experience and cognition system relate to nature and society of tribal group or local community which based on the conclusions of creations of productive life and intellectual activity. It becomes a very important part of human’s knowledge hierarchy because of it’s special “discursive practice”. Traditional knowledge has many obviously or potential utility value and it also played an important role on traditional and modern fields such as ecological conservation, health care, product development, legal conciliation, education and so on. However, Chinese minorities’ traditional knowledge is accelerated disappearing and in danger of being lost when it is being used because of the impacts of globalization, modernization and urbanization. Reinforcing the conservation of Chinese minorities’ traditional knowledge has an enormously value on solving the local and mutual problems or making ethnic groups’ society or local society get continuable ecological resources.

Paper 3: Ecological Resource Management and Dhaka City: Critical Scope for Decentralized Water Management Systems

Shajjad Hossain, BRAC University

Water, one of the most important ecological resources, becomes inadequate and of difficult management due to rapid urbanization and high speed migration of people towards Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Primary and major source of water in Dhaka is ground water, extracted by existing 500 DTWs of Dhaka WASA. Water table is dropping approximately three meters every year making many of the existing wells useless. Consequently there is high scarcity of water all the year round, especially in summer. Again due to the lack of proper drainage and treatment system maximum portion of the city is flooded severely in monsoon. All the waste water runs towards the few water bodies inside city and the peripheral rivers with high BOD content, polluting them greatly. Here lies the dire need of management of this resource. Most of this ironical loss can be minimized and compensated by indigenous tools like rainwater harvesting, decentralized wastewater treatment and recharging groundwater in individual buildings and urban unit or community level for Dhaka. The aim of this paper is to rediscover the indigenous technique in the dense urban context of Dhaka where intervention in architectural and urban design level can maximize the benefit. Indigenous knowledge of management of this valuable ecological resource, policy and rules, technical knowledge and implementation concept together can pave the way for us to be at sustainable yield.

Discussant: Farhad Mollick

SESSION 8

Chair: Motilal Dash

Paper 1: Indigenous knowledge of fishing in Southern West Bengal, India

Sumahan Bandyopadhyay, N.D. College

Fishing has been one of the major economic pursuits of a considerable number of people in West Bengal, India. Fishermen were among the early settlers who lived in this part of the country during prehistoric period. It is well known that India is a caste based society. Traditionally fishing is one of the caste occupations in which a number of castes and sub-castes are engaged. Still caste holds a great sway over this vocation. Therefore it can easily be inferred that there is a vast body of indigenous knowledge on fishing among the fishermen communities in Bengal. This knowledge includes the indigenous technology of fishing and indigenous understanding of environment. The fishermen communities are seen to attune their way of life much with the fishing cycles of the year. Moreover it is also a part of their adaptive strategy for survival in the particular ecological set up where they live. In this backdrop the present study attempts to know the indigenous knowledge of the fishermen communities and how they perceive the recent environmental and socio-economic changes. The study brings out clearly their concern over the loss of biodiversity as the amount and variety of fishes have steadily gone down over the years. The study has tried to assess the impact of modern technology of fishing upon these communities. Ethnographic studies have been done on fishing communities in the lower deltaic Bengal and in inland south Bengal employing observation, interview, case study and schedule methods for the collection of data.

Paper 2: Traditional Knowledge Associated With Edible Insects among the Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh in North-East India

Sampat Ghosh and J. Chakravorty, Rajiv Gandhi University

Accepting insects as food is part of integral traditional culture of several indigenous societies around the globe including the ethnic people of Arunachal Pradesh, the north eastern state of India. Edible insects are nutritious being a good source of proteins, fats and other micronutrients and are comparable and or sometimes even better than the meat of other animals. However, the habit of insect eating is on gradual decline due to habitat degradation, and appreciation of western attitude by these ethnic tribes. This may lead to the loss of a component of traditional knowledge among the ethnic tribes of Arunachal Pradesh which has been passed on from generation to generation without any written documents. In this article an attempt is made to emphasize the need to revive this traditional knowledge, which includes the identification of edible species of insects, the mode of preparation of insects for safer form of intake as food, use of insects for treatment of diseases and traditional way of conserving the species of insects. This reflects the richness of indigenous traditional knowledge. This article also deals with the means of encouraging the ethnic people to respect their traditional knowledge and sustainable development of edible insects in Arunachal for anticipated growing demand for edible insects both for nutritional health and income generation among the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh and elsewhere in the region. Preservation of this ethno biological knowledge and evaluation of its scientific basis may become a potential tool to ensure the food security on global basis and also may help in conservation.

Paper 3: Indigenous Environmental Knowledge and Food Security: Sample Data from Odisha, India

Satya Narayana Ratha and Ranju Hasini Sahoo, MGN Institute of Research and Social Action

Substantial chunks of the human population in different parts of the globe still cling to their hilly and forest habitats. These population aggregates or communities are called ‘tribes’ in the contemporary English vocabulary who continue to look upon the forest as a safety cover against hunger and food insecurity, together with their small and marginal farming as is possible under the geo-morphological constraints of the undulated landscape of their habitats. Under such conditions, land-type available for any particular crop is not sufficient to produce enough to depend on any particular single crop as a staple. A number of millets, grams and cereals are produced in small quantities suited to available land types. Land preparation, time for planting and harvesting, and post harvest management differ from crop to crop requiring precise knowledge to optimize output and utility. Complementing/supplementing the food basket by collections from the forest and the neighbourhood also requires knowledge of identification of right items, from right places, at right times and using right methods for rendering them edible. All activities revolving around food security, from production/collection to consumption are associated with several rituals, some simple and some more elaborate, thus intertwined with the culture of the group. In this exercise, we have attempted to scan through some empirical data from two such tribal habitats of Orissa, namely the Lanjia Saora and the Durua, highlighting the community knowledge used in securing food (production and collection) from their immediate environment and managing hunger.

Discussant: Arsenio B Ella