Reviving Foods, Preserving Culture: My Journey as an Indigenous Food Entrepreneur
By: Aruna Tirkey
Terralingua, Vol. 7, Issue 2
Dec. 14, 2018
Key words: India, revival, nutrition and health, indigenous foods, diet, disease (prevention)
The article is written by an Indigenous Oraon woman who is the entrepreneur of a catering company that educates about cultures and foodways. She noticed that Indigenous people have been giving up their foods, often turning to junk food and refined foods, at the same time as their foods are becoming packaged and valued for premium prices in grocery stores. An example of this is millet flour which had been a popular staple for Indigenous communities. She credits an indigenous food diet for improving her son’s health and Autism Spectrum Disorder and she wanted to bring that healthfulness to others. The company she runs recognizes the need to revive and innovate new foods but to continue using the basics of the indigenous diets to do so.

As Climate Changes, Himalayan Farmers Return to Traditional Crops
By: Krystyna Swiderska
Key words: Himalayas, traditional crops, climate change, innovation
As climate change impacts existing crops, methods, and technologies, farmers are returning to traditional plants and methods as well as using innovative crops and techniques to adapt.

Kerala fishermen tackle pollution, clam theft to protect wetland
By: Manipadma Jena
Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Feb. 27, 2017
Key words: India, salinity, fishing, shellfish, clams, climate change, collaboration, conservation
Vembanad Lake in Kerala, India, has been impacted by climate change that has led to lowered salinity, raised the temperature of the water, and decreased shellfish populations. Local fishermen with traditional wisdom teamed up with scientists for various natural resource conservation efforts including establishing fish sanctuaries, salinity monitoring stations, and banning dredging.

Comigrants and Friends: Informal Networks and the Transmission of Traditional Ecological Knowledge among Seminomadic Pastoralists of Gujarat, India
By: Matthieu Salpeteur, Hanoz H. R. Patel, José Luis Molina, Andrea L. Balbo, Xavier Rubio-Campillo, Victoria Reyes-García, & Marco Madella
Ecology and Society, 21(2):20
Previous research has shown that social organization may affect the distribution of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) within local communities of natural resource users in multiple ways. However, in this line of research the potential role of informal relationships has mostly been overlooked. In this article, the authors contribute toward filling this research gap by studying how two types of informal relationships, namely migration partnership and friendship, affect the distribution of TEK within a community of seminomadic pastoralists from the Kutch area, Gujarat, India.

Restoration Ethnobotany: Applying Traditional Ecological Knowledge
By: Veena Chandra
Chapter 5 in Indian Ethnobotany: Emerging Trends
Jain ed., Jodhpur, India, Scientific Publishers
Key words: Mining, Environmental Impacts, Restoration Ethnobotany, Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Different types of minerals and rocks have to be used to sustain growth of the land and betterment of the society at large. These minerals have become essential part of modern life as they are the raw materials for various metals, industrial goods like insulators, refractories, pigments, fuels, building materials etc. of daily need in all walks of life. Growing populations and advancing frontiers of civilization has put an ever increasing demand on these industrial goods, resulting in greater and sometimes overexploitation of minerals. This chapter studies the effects and what role TEK has in ethnobotany restoration project.

Traditional Pest and Disease Management Practices in Sikkim Himalayan Region
By: R. Gopi, R. K. Avasthe, H. Kalita, Chandan Kapoor, Ashish Yadav, Subhash Babu, & S. K. Das
International Journal of Bio-resource and Stress Management, 7(3):471-476
Agriculture and allied activities continue to be an important occupation in the Indian state of Sikkim in the Eastern Himalayas, and form the main base of their economy. Various pests and diseases in crop plants which cause severe loss in yield resulting in reduced production. This report is an attempt to document some of the indigenous practices followed by traditional farmers for the management of pests and diseases of major crops grown in Sikkim.

Folk Rice Conservation Work in West Bengal
By: Anupam Paul
PADDY Save Our Rice Campaign newsletter, page 3
Key words: biodiversity, rice, folk varieties, conservation
The Biodiversity Conservation Farm under the Agricultural Training Centre, Fulia, West Bengal collects, studies and distributes folk rice varieties. This article describes the issues facing rice farmers in India and the ongoing effort to protect traditional knowledge and assist farmers who want to use traditional methods.

A Sea of Fury: a brief history of four decades of struggle of the National Fishworkers Forum (NFF)
By: Manju Menon
Key words: Community resource management, contested ecozones, unionizing traditional communities
Traditional fishing practices were threatened by the introduction of mechanization in the 1950’s on India’s coastline. As a cumulation of efforts since that period, and as an example of the resurgence of traditional fishing practices, the National Fishworkers Forum was established in 1978. Consisting of local communities of fish workers, they advocate against the encroachment of various interests into India’s coastline, including commercial fishing operations and nuclear energy programs.

Challenges for Participatory Institutions: The Case of Village Forest Committees in Karnataka, South India
By: Adrian Martin, Mark Lemon
Society & Natural Resources
Key words: gender, empowerment, self-management, joint forest planning
Participatory resource management institutions can sometimes recreate the social inequity at-scale that keeps its partner communities infringed, or lack meaningful inclusion because of their agency’s legal or political context. Issues regarding partnership inclusion are discussed within the context of South India.

The Use of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Forest Management: an Example from India
By L. Rist, R. Uma Shaanker, E. J. Milner-Gulland, and J. Ghazoul
Ecology and Society, 15(1): 3
Key words: Forest communities, land management, sustainable harvesting, monitoring
Indigenous populations living in the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary rely on the harvesting of non-timber forest products for a substantial portion of their income. Soliga communities earn approximately 30% to >60% of their income from non-timber forest products that consist primarily of fruits, honey, and lichens. This practice has been threatened by an endemic but invasive species of mistletoe which has led to an increased mortality rate and loss of fruit in the Amla tree (Phyllanthus emblica L. and Phyllanthus indofischeri Bennet). To determine how TEK could contribute to land management in the sanctuary, the authors interviewed 47 indigenous harvesters and compared the data against a previous monitoring study held over two years. The authors conclude that TEK is able to contribute relevant data to monitoring and management programs that address invasive species in the wildlife sanctuary.

Sacred Grove Lore and Laws: On the Beliefs of Ecologists, Environmentalist-Historians, and Others
By: Goutam Gajula
Indian Folklife, 26:19-24
This article discusses sacred groves in India, the historical significance of the groves, as well as current management and discussions about these sacred areas.

New Meanings for Old Knowledge: The People's Biodiversity Registers Program
By: Madhav Gadgil, P. R. Seshagiri Rao, G. Utkarsh, P. Pramod, Ashwini Chhatre
Ecological Applications, Vol. 10, No. 5, pp. 1307-1317
Key words: Participatory systems of management, preservation of folk knowledge, biodiversity preservation, local authority
In partnership with local, decentralized institutions of governance, local educational institutions and non-government organizations, the People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR) program aims to promote and support folk ecological knowledge. Through documentation of traditional or folk ecological knowledge, PBRs attempt to formalize the maintenance of these traditions as well as increase opportunities for their practice.

Last updated: March 12, 2019