Africa’s nomadic herders help, not harm, land and planet – U.N.
By: Thin Lei Win
Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Sep. 22, 2018
Key words: land ownership, boundary crossing, ancestral lands, organic farms and animal products, carbon, soil health
Despite common perceptions that pastoral land use harms environments, African pastoralists use organic methods and their practices keep carbon in soils. Tensions with farmers can be fraught but “alliance farming” methods encourage farmers and pastoralists to work together and use the same lands in ways that increase crop yields and improve cattle health.

A Comparison of Traditional Plant Knowledge between Students and Herders in Northern Kenya.
By: Brett L. Bruyere, Jonathan Trimarco, & Saruni Lemunes
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 12:48
The Samburu region of northern Kenya is undergoing significant change, driven by factors including greater value on formal education, improvements in infrastructure and development, a shift from community to private ownership of land, increased sedentary lifestyles and global climate change. One outcome of these changes are an increasingly greater likelihood for adolescent boys to be enrolled in school rather than herding livestock on behalf of the family in a landscape shared with numerous native vegetation and wildlife species. This study compared identification and knowledge of native plant species between boys enrolled in school with boys of similar age but primary responsibility as herders, called moran.

Utilization of Indigenous Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Vegetable Production in Ekiti State: Implications for Sustainable Agricultural Development in Nigeria
By: Emmanuel O. Bamigboye
Agriculture & Forestry, 62(1):91-97
Key words: Farmer, Hazard, Pests and Diseases and Agricultural Development, Nigeria
Vegetable production is often faced with some challenges that borders on pests and diseases infestation and low yield. Therefore, this study explores indigenous knowledge system (IKS) approaches in vegetable production under tropical conditions.

Seeing Through Fishers’ Lenses: Exploring Marine Ecological Changes within Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania
By: Victoria H. Moshy, Ian Bryceson
SAGE Vol. 6, issue 2
Key words: TEK integration, resource monitoring, mutual enrichment / exchange, adaptive management, social-ecological systems
While TEK is increasingly being included in western science, Bryceson and colleagues suggest that traditional knowledge is being adapted into a scientific perspective. They maintain traditional knowledge should retain its originality and remain recognizable as a separate and parallel source of knowledge even after publication, rather than being translated into a western science perspective. The authors use this as a foundation to explore the traditional knowledge of the local fishing population living in Mafia Island Marine Park (MIMP). Whereas the majority of the scientific research has pointed to fishing trends as the main driving factor of ecological change and marine resource availability, local fishermen are able to identify proximal sources as well as the overarching factors contributing to change over time.

Expert and Generalist Local Knowledge about Land-Cover Change on South Africa’s Wild Coast: Can Local Ecological Knowledge Add Value to Science?
By: N. Chalmers, and C. Fabricius
Ecology and Society, 12(1): 10
Key words: Ecosystem change, ecosystem planning, cooperative land management, forest cover encroachment, local experts
For land managers of Africa’s Wild Coast, the increasing forest and woodland cover over the last thirty years has been a subject of scientific study. The authors sought the perspective of indigenous populations of Nqabara in order to determine if local ecological knowledge would be a benefit to understanding the changes in ground cover. 11 community-suggested ecological experts and 40 elder members of randomly selected traditional households were selected to interview. While ecological knowledge among the randomly selected elder community members was unevenly distributed and sometimes inaccurate, all the experts proved to have a nuanced understanding of ecological relationships and were able to identify six major contributing factors in the expansion of forest regions. Furthermore, local experts were able to offer a historic perspective that included a qualitative understanding of social-ecological relationships and feedback loops at multiple scales—all of which was previously unknown to western scientists.

Developing Forest Management Plans with High-Tech Tools and Traditional Knowledge in Zambia
By: Cecilia Polansky, and John Heermans
Journal of Forestry
Key words: forest management, forest resources, forestry research, natural resource management, technology transfer, Zambia
The Cooperative League of the United States of America's Natural Resource Management Program is a pilot program in Zambia to use existing technology to map results from interviews with traditional farmers.

Indigenous African knowledge systems: local traditions of sustainable forestry
By: George J.S. Dei
Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography
Key words: ecological stability, social responsibility, interrelationships, Ghana
This study of traditional African cultures aims to apply lessons learned to modern rural society. In addition, it draws attention to the importance of the forestry practices of traditional Ghana society in how it supports sustainable land management models.

Last updated: October 3, 2018