Environmental Governance

Another Way of Knowing: Indian Tribes, Collaborative Management & Public Lands (webinar)
Hosted by: Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment at Colorado Law
August 25, 2020
Keywords: Co-management, lands, water, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Western science, law, Bears Ears, Grand Canyon, Devils Tower
Panelists include: Daniel Cordalis, Jim Enote, and Charles Wilkinson. They discuss how tribes can be involved with federal agencies for the collaborative management of of public lands, using western and Indigenous knowledges. The panelists provide examples and recommendations.

Putting People Back into Wilderness
By: Maxwell Forton, Binghamton University
Preservation Archaeology Blog
July 9, 2020
Key words: Wilderness Act of 1964, Gila Wilderness, John Muir, Native Americans, western bias, removal, stewardship, human legacy
This thoughtful and forthright blog speaks to the removal of American Indians from their ancestral lands to call the land "wilderness." Such a designation does not remove the on-the-ground legacy of occupation, use and stewardship. It is demeaning and dehumanizing to the peoples who inhabited the areas.

Climate action and sustainability: Indigenous peoples are part of the solution

By: Oluwatobiloba Moody
March 2020
Key words: Indigenous peoples, climate, sustainability, traditional ecological knowledge, Brundtland Commission, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya Protocol
This article highlights a number of international agreements that point to the inclusion of Indigenous peoples for addressing climate change while acknowledging challenges that need to be addressed, such as absence of legal frameworks, disinterest of key decision-makers, lack of documentation of traditional ecological knowledge, from which intellectual property issues arise.

Traditional ecological knowledge in innovation governance: a framework for responsible and just innovation
By: David Ludwig and Phil Macnaghten
Oct. 20, 2019
Journal of Responsible Innovation
Keywords: Traditional ecological knowledge, indigenous knowledge, AIRR framework, just innovation, global justice
Connects TEK to shifting meanings of ‘innovation' that emphasize contributions to societal goals rather than economic growth or technological modernization. Situates these shifts in governance frameworks of ‘responsible innovation’. Argues that the case for self-determination of traditional communities also identifies limits of integrating TEK with recent innovation discourses.

How the Karuk Tribe fights a growing wildfire threat and a lack of funding: Surrounded by forests they often can't manage without breaking the law, California Tribes struggle to protect themselves from wildfires.
By: Laurence Du Sault
March 12, 2019
Key words: California, conservation, Karuk Tribe, sustainability, land rights, stewardship, fire
The article discusses the uphill battle that the Karuk Tribe in California face with the increasing numbers of wild fires. The Karuk are prohibited in many cases from using their traditional ecological knowledge of forest management through burning in the areas surrounding their homes. Due to their cultural construction of their wooden homes, they face issues with insuring their dwellings in case of fire. The article discusses the battle for the tribe to get funding to allow their Natural Resource Department to be continuously funded to help put out the fires that threaten the tribe.

How Conservation became Colonialism: Indigenous people, not environmentalists, are the key to protecting the world’s most precious ecosystems
By: Alexander Zaitchik
July 16, 2018
Key words: Ecuador, conservation, green colonialism, sustainability, land rights, stewardship, mining
The article highlights conservation issues like illegal mining, deforestation, and pollution that befall indigenous groups like the Cofán in Ecuador. Governments often do not have the resources to be able to adequately protect the environments, but environmentalists’ opinions may differ from indigenous means of stewardship.

Investing in indigenous communities is most efficient way to protect forests, report finds
By: Cory Rogers
Mongabay News & Inspiration from Nature's Frontline
July 2, 2018
Key words: Forests, Indigenous peoples, biodiversity, conservation, protected areas, U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The report finds that Indigenous people are doing a better job and are cost-effective at managing forests than placing the forests into protected status.

Tribes and Indigenous Peoples
Fourth National Climate Assessment
(Chapter 15)
By: Rachael Novak, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs; Lesley Jantarasami, Oregon Department of Energy; Roberto Delgado, National Institutes of Health; Elizabeth Marino, Oregon State University-Cascades; Shannon McNeeley, North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center and Colorado State University; Chris Narducci, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Julie Raymond-Yakoubian, Kawerak, Inc.; Loretta Singletary, University of Nevada, Reno; Kyle Powys Whyte, Michigan State University
U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)
Keywords: Traditional Ecological Knowledge, policy, climate change, economics, adaptations.
Climate change can threaten the livelihoods of Indigenous people disproportionately. They may also face significant legal and logistical barriers to implementing their own policies toward climate change. Indigenous knowledge can shed light on cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena. Included is an interactive map of tribal climate initiatives.

Biodiversity sector must acknowledge traditional knowledge holders
By: Marie-Ann Daloia
CSI & Sustainability News
March 1, 2018
Key words: Africa, traditional knowledge, benefits sharing, biodiversity
Environmental Affairs Minister Dr. Edna Molewa speaks about the new National Biodiversity Economy Strategy, which is about promoting partnerships between communities, industry and the public sector for the equitable sharing of benefits.

Indigenous Peoples’ Concern for Environment: Examining the Role of Non-Governmental Organizations
By: Smiriti Sabbarwal
Fourth World Journal, 15(2):27-39
Key words: Indigenous Peoples, IUCN, NGOs, climate change, biodiversity
The present paper aims to analyze the role played by NGOs in highlighting the indigenous peoples’ issues related to the environment at the international level. This is done by examining the multitude of functions carried out by NGOs such as lobbying, advocacy, and networking, through which many of the serious environmental issues faced by indigenous peoples such as degradation of biodiversity, burning of forests on a large scale, and misuse of their traditional knowledge were addressed by NGOs.

Indigenous knowledge systems can help solve the problems of climate change
by Teila Watson
The Guardian
June 1, 2017
Key words: climate change, Australia
This article speaks to the knowledgel held by indigenous Australians and how it could be used to address environmental concerns today.

Tending the Wild: The Idea of Wilderness Erases Native People. Here’s how to Fix it
By: Chris Clarke
Jan. 31, 2017
Key words: Wilderness, natural, Native people, Spanish contact, legislation, Wilderness Act, maintenance
The concept of Wilderness, as defined in the 1964 Wilderness Act, erases the presence of Native peoples who had been on the lands the Spanish saw as “pristine;” they had been interacting with and shaping those landscapes for millennia. In fact, no land is now untouched by human activities, as smog and pesticides travel in the air and invasive species have been introduced. The traditional ecological knowledge of Native peoples goes hand-in-hand with “wilderness” and could make the environments healthier, although they are barred from maintaining them now.

Indigenous Biology: Colonization sought to separate us from nature
by Ruth Hopkins
Indian Country Media Network
December 17, 2016
Key words: Natural resource management, western science, indicator species, United States
This opinion article discusses the importance of TEK in natural resource management and conservation. It focuses on ways in which, what Western biologists refer as indicator species (organisms that are ideal for biomonitoring), jibe with indigenous views towards the presence of certain species in certain ecosystems. Within indigenous biology, such species (as with indicator species) are indicators of both the ecological and spiritual health of that ecosystem.

The Human Element of Mangrove Management
By: Stephen Brooks
Key words: Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, mangroves, shoreline ecosystem management, legal jurisdiction, management policies
Mangroves are often protected areas because they are highly productive ecosystems that act as a shield against storms and shoreline erosion. These ecosystems frequently straddle multiple areas of legal jurisdiction, and their protection can be legally complicated and underfunded. Examples in the article show how community-based resource management can create better management policies.

Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge Systems into Collaborative Governance for Water: Challenges and Opportunities
By: Suzanne Von Der Porten, Rob C. De Loe, & Deb McGregor
Journal of Canadian Studies, 50(1):214-243
Key words: Collaborative water governance, Indigenous governance, Indigenous knowledge systems, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, water governance, Canada
The importance of Indigenous knowledge systems for environmental decision-making is now widely recognized. In the context of collaborative approaches to environmental governance, scholars and practitioners have recognized that Western knowledge is not sufficient, and that ideas, practices, and knowledge from Indigenous peoples is essential. Collaborative environmental governance practice tends to make assumptions about how Indigenous knowledge systems can be incorporated into decision-making without reflecting satisfactorily on contrasting perspectives of Indigenous peoples themselves; these perspectives are partially captured in the Indigenous governance literature.

A Tribal Model of Wildlife Stewardship: Native Americans tap into traditional practices to manage forests
by Serra J. Hoagland
The Wildlife Professional, Vol 10(6) November/December
Key words: Wildlife stewardship, United States, forest management, U.S. Forest Service, TEK
This article looks at ways in which Native American tribes use traditional practices and frameworks for natural resource management. With holistic approaches that promote long-term stewardship (concepts guiding many ecosystem management strategies today), the article explains the value of traditional management practices and how they align with, and inform and support the work of resource management agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, and the importance of such partnerships.

Why the Native American pipeline resistance in North Dakota is about climate justice

Discusses Native American resistance to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline as related to broader conversations of climate Justice and indigenous peoples. The article gives historical context to past resource extraction projects which have adversely affected Native American communities and encourages the reader to consider this broader context.

Environmental Governance for All: Involving local and indigenous populations is key to effective environmental governance
By: EDUARDO BRONDIZIO, Department of Anthropology, Center for the Analysis of Social-Ecological Landscapes, and Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA. FRANCOIS-MICHEL LE TOURNEAU, Center for Research and Documentation on the Americas, Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle University and CNRS, 75007 Paris, France. Institut des Ameriques, 92170 Vanves, France.
Science, Vol. 352, Issue 6291, pp. 1272-1273;DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf5122
10 Jun 2016

Keywords: Climate change, stakeholder engagement, conservation strategies
This article talks about the importance of engaging local and indigenous stakeholders in environmental governance. The article discusses strategies for engagement and the reasons why local and indigenous inclusion in environmental management is key to climate change mitigation.

What does "First Nations deep roots in the forests" mean?
Identification of principles and objectives for promoting forest-based development

By: Janette Beilkan, Harry Nelson, Ronald Trosper and Stephen Wyatt
NRC Research Press, 46:508-519
January 5, 2016
Key words: Forest management, Quebec, sustainable development, Essipit Innu
This article discusses the involvement of the Essipit Innu with the forestry service as well as the logging companies in Quebec. The article looks to create a sustainable model for the forest with the incorporation of traditional knowledge. Through the conducting of interviews both in French and the traditional language, the authors were able to identify main objectives the Essipit wish to see forestry service and logging industry to adopt.

Shifting Cultivation and Environmental Change: Indigenous People, Agriculture and Forest Conservation, First edition
By: Malcolm F. Cairns, editor
Key words: agriculture, strategies, adaptations, biodiversity, climate change, Asia, Pacific Islands, forest management, crops, cultivation
With 50 chapters written by scholars from diverse fields including anthropology, ecology, and economics, the book is an excellent resource for those interested in agricultural strategies of Indigenous peoples and their adaptations for protecting biodiversity and dealing with changing climatic conditions. Authors explore swiddens, management of fallow lands, agroforestry, plant genetic diversity, flooding, island environments, shifting cultivation, and commodity crops with geographic focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

Reconciling Ecological and Social Justice to Promote Biodiversity Conservation
By: Eleanor Shoreman-Ouimet & Helen Kopnina
Biological Conservation, 194:320-26
Key words: Anthropocentrism, conservation, ecological justice, environmental justice
In this article the authors focus upon a division between generalized schools of philosophical and ethical thought about culture and conservation. There is an ongoing debate playing out over conservation between those who believe conservation threatens community livelihoods and traditional practices, and those who believe conservation is essential to protect nonhuman species from the impact of human development and population growth.

Earth Stewardship: An Initiative by the Ecological Society of America to Foster Engagement to Sustain Planet Earth (Chapter 12)
By: F. Stuart Chapin III, S. T. A. Pickett, Mary E. Power, Scott L. Collins, Jill S. Baron, David W. Inouye, & Monica G. Turner
Ecology and Ethics, 2:173-193
Key words: Earth Stewardship Initiative, Ecological Society of America, interdisciplinary integration, practitioner engagement, sustainability
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has responded to the growing commitment among ecologists to make their science relevant to society through a series of concerted efforts. The goal of the Earth Stewardship Initiative is to raise awareness and to explore ways for ecologists and other scientists to contribute more effectively to the sustainability of our planet. This chapter focuses in on the Earth Stewardship Initiative integrating some Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

Auditing Environmental and Social Performance of Forest Management Relative to Native Rights An Appeal for Multidisciplinary Aid
By: Lloyd C. Irland & Marie Gunning
Technical Report

Keywords: Green Certification, Indigenous rights, third party forestry auditing, multidisciplinary aid
Third party auditing, often referred to as "green certification", is a growing factor in the slow movement toward motivating and assuring implementation of more sustainable forest management practices. The system that devotes the most thorough consideration to Native rights is that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Some specific areas that can prove problematic in field auditing include: accurately defining native rights; identifying indigenous peoples; determining Native spokespersons, assuring "meaningful" consultation, limited ethnobotanical resources, and evaluating traditional ecological knowledge.

Traditional ecological knowledge and environmental governance in Canada: the role of law and comprehensive agreements in facilitating incorporation
By: Matthew Stephen Pudovskis
The University of British Columbia
Key words: Environmental Impact Assessments, co-management regimes, respectful incorporation, Canada, land claim agreements, legal framework
Comprehensive land claim agreements in Canada may involve environmental impact assessments. It is within this context the author explores the role of TEK in environmental governance, and how it fits within the legal frameworks.

Restoring Fire as an Ecological Process
By: Sierra Forest Legacy
National Forests in the Sierra Nevada: A Conservation Strategy (Section IV, part A)
Key words: Mixed conifer, chaparral-dominated ecosystems, air quality, fuel management, co-management
This document outlines the goals and desired metrics the Sierra Forest Legacy would like to see applied in the Sierra Nevada regarding prescribed and cultural fire. As an independent coalition of partners, the Sierra Forest Legacy makes policy recommendations that unite multiple agencies and stakeholders for preservation efforts. Notably they put an emphasis on cultural fire and the protection and enhancement of culturally important species.

Navigating the Knowledge Interface: Fishers and Biologists Under Co-Management in Chile
By: Sarah Schumann
Society and Natural Resources: An International Journal, 24(11):1174-1188
Key words: Co-management, fisheries management, fishermen’s ecological knowledge, local knowledge, small-scale fisheries
This article examines similarities and differences between the biological and ecological knowledge of small-scale fishers and the professional biologists assigned to work with them under a co-management program for shellfish in Chile.

Ensuring Equitable Distribution of Land in Ghana: Spirituality or Policy? A Case Study from the Forest-Savanna Agroecological Zone of Ghana
By: Samuel Awuah-Nyamekye & Paul Sarfo-Mensah
The International Indigenous Policy, 2(4)
Key words: Land distribution, customary laws, spirituality of land, Indigenous people, policy reforms
This article explores the pent-up question of equitable distribution of land in Ghana using the Forest-Savanna Agroecological Zone as a case study. It focuses on the dichotomy of policy versus indigenous spirituality in contemporary distribution of land in Ghana. After independence several attempts have been made to restructure land title holding in Ghana by way of land registration. The effectiveness of these attempts is also examined.

Indigenous Peoples and the Collaborative Stewardship of Nature: Knowledge Binds and Institutional Conflicts
By: Ann Ross, Kathleen Pickering, Jeffrey Snodgrass, Henry Delcore and Richard Sherman
Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, CA
Keywords: Indigenous epistemologies, The Indigenous Stewardship Model, co-management, case studies
This book looks at indigenous natural resource management practices across the world focusing on case studies from the Aboriginal peoples of Australia, the Adiavasi in Northern India, and the Lakota people in South Dakota. This book looks primarily at strategies for the co-management of natural resources of natural resources between indigenous peoples and other groups and their shortcomings historically. The book then examines areas of conflict in co-management and suggests a new management strategy called the indigenous stewardship model.

Diversity in Current Ecological Thinking: Implications for Environmental Management
By: Susan A Moore, Tabatha J. Wallington, Richard J. Hobbs, Paul R. Ehrlich, C. S. Holling, Simon Levin, David Lindenmayer, Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Hugh Possingham, Monica G. Turner, & Mark Westoby
Environmental Management, 43:17-27
Key words: Contingency, landscape ecology, non-equilibrium ecology, Policy Delphi Survey, succession, uncertainty
Current ecological thinking emphasizes that systems are complex, dynamic, and unpredictable across space and time. What is the diversity in interpretation of these ideas among today’s ecologists, and what does this mean for environmental management? This study used a Policy Delphi survey of ecologists to explore their perspectives on a number of current topics in ecology.

The Governance of Nature and the Nature of Governance: Policy that works for Biodiversity and Livelihoods
By: Krystyna Swiderska
International Institute for Environment and Development
Key words: Rural poverty, rural livelihoods, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), India, Tanzania, Peru
This lengthy report criticizes top-down exclusionary conservation approaches in their failure to meaningfully incorporate indigenous populations in the face of increasing biodiversity loss. Primarily the focus of the article is on the lack of community-based resource management inclusion into larger scales of management programs. Case studies are included from the following countries: India, Tanzania and Peru.

The Role of Indigenous Peoples in Biodiversity Conservation: The Natural but Often Forgotten Partners
By: Claudia Sobrevila
The World Bank
Keywords: Collaborative conservation, co-management, capacity building
A principal aim of this study is to get a better sense of what the World Bank needs to know in order to engage Indigenous Peoples more effectively in biodiversity conservation projects and programs. It is in this sense that the reporting is geared to Bank Task Team leaders, advisors, directors, and managers and also government and nongovernmental organization personnel engaged in biodiversity conservation programs. Indigenous peoples might also benefit from the report´s presentation of tools to seeking international funding for biodiversity-related activities in their ancestral territories.

Social forestry: An analysis of Indonesian forestry policy
By: Herb Thompson
Journal of Contemporary Asia
Key words: Corporate influence, logging, theory vs practice, Indonesia
Social forestry arose in response to the widespread crisis of resource loss around the 1980s. In practice, social forestry hasn’t always led to ideal land management partnerships, and all too often use the traditional communities as scape goats. In this discussion of Indonesian forestry policy, the author makes recommendations on how to move towards a more equitable partnership model.

Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Restoration Practices
By: Rene Senos, Frank K. Lake, Nancy Turner, & Dennis Martinez
In Apostol, Dean & Sinclair, Marcia, eds. Restoring the Pacific Northwest: The Art and Science of Ecological Restoration in Cascadia. Washington, DC : Island Press: 393-426. Chapter 17
Key words: Ecological restoration, environmental degradation, Indigenous Peoples, Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Ecological restoration is a process, a directed action aimed at repairing damage to ecocultural systems for which humans are responsible. Environmental degradation has impaired the functioning of both ecological and cultural systems and disrupted traditional practices that maintained these systems over several millennia. Indigenous and local peoples who depend on the integrity and productivity of their immediate environment more than the global, urbanized society are directly affected by ecosystem damage. Despite this clear connection between cultural and ecological integrity, however, the knowledge and interests of indigenous peoples typically are not considered in attempts to restore degraded ecosystems.

Aboriginal forestry in Canada
By: Parsons, R.; Prest, G.
The Forestry Chronicle
Key words: Aboriginal forestry, consultation, legal frameworks, Canada
Aboriginal forestry includes a combination of cultural protocols and a consideration for future generations. This article discusses the intersection of traditional land management and the modern legal landscape related to forestry.

Introduction: Theme Issue: Native American Land Management Practices in National Parks
Ecological Restoration, 21:245-246;doi:10.3368/er.21.4.245
December 2003
Keywords: Defining nature, cultural landscapes, nature-culture divide
Discusses the history of Native Americans in National Parks. Discusses the epistemological divide between Western and Native American concepts of environmental preservation and land management. Talks about the role that indigenous land management practices have in ecosystem restoration and introduces case studies.

Native American Practices in National Parks: A Debate: Facing a New Ecosystem Management Paradigm for National Parks
by David M. Graber
Ecological Restoration, 21:264-268;doi:10.3368/er.21.4.264
December 2003
Keywords: National parks policy, national parks history, Native American practices
This article talks about the evolution and history of the National Parks from their up until the time of the article. It discusses how policy and the thinking of National Parks Leadership have shaped the ways that National Parks have been managed. The article also looks at the role that Native Americans have played historically in managing lands that are now National Parks through fires at regular intervals. From this history, the author explores how these practices could evolve into different future land management scenarios and what that will mean for National Parks land.

Native American Practices in National Parks: A Debate: Simulated Indigenous Management: A New Model for Ecological Restoration in National Parks
by M. Kat Anderson and Michael G. Barbour
Ecological Restoration, 21:269-277;doi:10.3368/er.21.4.269
December 2003
Keywords: Ecological restoration, ecological disturbance, Indigenous management
This article talks about how certain areas of National Parks have historically interacted with Native Americans and how the ecological disturbances caused by this interaction have actually been beneficial and formative in the current makeup of the ecosystem. The author discusses the ways that actual and simulated indigenous involvement with the land in certain Nation Park areas can aid in ecological restoration.

Indigenous knowledge in sustainable forest management: Community-based approaches achieve greater success
By: Deborah McGregor
The Forestry Chronicle
Key words: Native values mapping, Aboriginal forestry, sustainable communities, Canada
Within Ontario’s new forest management planning process aboriginal participants feel that their inclusion in the process is lacking. Both aboriginal and non-aboriginal participants often replied that the results of a project were often better when control and nature of information sharing was given entirely to the aboriginal parties.

Evicting People from Nature: Indigenous Land Rights and National Parks in Australia, Russia, and the United States
By: Robert Poirier & David Ostergren
Natural Resources Journal, 42:331
Key words: Indigenous people, protecting wild areas, Australia, United States, Russia
http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1536&context=nrjThe authors compare Australia, the United States, and Russia to provide a cross section of political and cultural circumstances impacting indigenous people as these countries recognize the value of protecting wild natural areas. All three nations initiated protected area systems in the late 1800s that excluded indigenous populations. Throughout most of the 1900s, indigenous peoples were separated from the land by legal, political, and cultural barriers. They conclude by demonstrating that within the context of international agreements, all three nations have slowly recognized the rights of indigenous peoples and their role within, or next to, national park lands.

Land use research and the duty to consult: a misrepresentation of the aboriginal landscape
By: David Natcher
Land Use Policy
Key words: Resource development, Aboriginal rights, Land use, co-management, empowerment, Canada
Previously developed aboriginal land use studies are more frequently being used as a form of consultation by industrial developers and, to a lesser extent, Canadian government. This article is questioning the practice on the basis of methodological limitations and the resulting cultural misrepresentation.

Last updated: August 27, 2020