Traditional Knowledge in Policy and Practice

Approaches to Development and Human Well-Being

image of Traditional Knowledge in Policy and Practice

Traditional knowledge (TK) has contributed immensely to shaping development and human well-being. Its influence spans a variety of sectors, including agriculture, health, education and governance. However, in today’s world, TK is increasingly underrepresented or under-utilized. Further, while the applicability of TK to human and environmental welfare is well-recognized, collated information on how TK contributes to different sectors is not easily accessible. This book focuses on the relevance of TK to key environment- and development-related sectors, discusses the current debates within each of these sectors and presents suggestions as to how TK can be effectively integrated with conventional science and policy. A valuable resource to researchers, academics and policymakers, Traditional knowledge in policy and practice provides a comprehensive overview of TK, and its links and contributions to social, economic, environmental, ethical and political issues.



Traditional knowledge, indigenous communities and ethical values

Human interaction is dominated by rules, customs, practices, values and regulations. A taxi driver who can find his way around Berlin with ease is likely to be lost in the frenzy of New Delhi, not because of the different geography, but because of different practices. He would have to learn that right of way needs to be claimed by frantic hooting, that overtaking is standard on all lanes, that elephants can be dangerous to cars, that one needs to be careful around auto-rickshaws, donkey carts, overloaded motorcycles and so on. The rules and practices learned in Berlin would have to be set aside. Often, the encounter of cultures is exciting and mutual learning takes place, which is beneficial to both. However, this is not the case when benefits are reaped solely by one party, whilst the other is being exploited.


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