Island Nations

Traditional Knowledge About Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) in East Greenland: Changes in the Catch and Climate Over Two Decades

By: Kristin L. Laidre, Allison D. Northey and Fernando Ugarte
Frontiers in Marine Science© University of Washington
May 2018
Key words: Greenland, Inuit, polar bears, ice, seals, climate change
Interviews with 25 Inuit polar bear hunters in East Greenland provide a wealth of knowledge about changes in sea ice, warming, and polar bear distribution and trends. Evidence of climate change reported by the hunters included receding glaciers, higher temperatures, and the loss of sea ice. These changes made it harder for them to access sea ice, because dog sledges are no longer safe given wide patches of open water during months when sea ice used to be safe to travel over. In addition, about 80% of hunters reported that more polar bears are entering their communities, which they attributed to both the loss of sea ice and the introduction of quota limits on polar bear hunts.

The Continuity of Traditional Management Practises(sic): The Case of Japanese Coastal Fisheries

Edited by: Kenneth Ruddle and R. E. Johannes
Study No. 2 Traditional Marine Resource Management in the Pacific Basin: An Anthology, page 247
Key words: Small fishing communities, village-based management, equitable access
Fishing communities in developing countries are often underprivileged and members of those communities can be the least protected under management policies developed with a Western perspective. New policies can be reductivist in their considerations for environmental impacts and favor a free-for-all licensing. With the introduction of Fishery Cooperative Associations (FCAs) in Japan (1948), which are comprised entirely by active fishermen living in the location the FCA is based in, communities could make democratic decisions over local issues. The FCA as a modern example of community-based management is a return to TEK in legislative form.

Local People’s Knowledge with Regard to Land Use Activities in Southwest Madagascar- Conceptual Insights for Sustainable Land Management
By: Nadine V.M. Fritz-Vietta, H. Stone Tahirindraza, & Susanne Stoll-Kleemann
Journal of Environmental Management, 199:126-138
Key words: Knowledge Systems, Knowledge Transmission, Land Use Activities, Madagascar, Mahafaly Plateau Region
Environmental conditions in the Mahafaly Plateau region in southwest Madagascar are harsh, with a long dry season and a short rainy season. The local people's land use capabilities and skills are adapted to these conditions. Nevertheless, they are currently confronted by drastic climatic changes, including longer dry seasons, which have resulted in food and water scarcities. It is therefore essential to ensure sustainable land management in the region.

Vezo Knowledge: Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Andavadoaka, southwest Madagascar
By: Josephine M. Langley
Blue Ventures Conservation Report
Key Words: Madagascar, TEK, marine ecosystem, conservation, collaboration, fishing, exploited species, (change in) women’s economic roles, environmental management, cash economy
The report examines the findings of Blue Ventures and their partner organizations upon working with Vezo interviewees towards understanding traditional ecological knowledge such as their management of marine resources and coasts, fishing techniques, and how their society has changed upon the introduction of a cash economy. Key results include the effects on women for enhanced involvement in income-generating pursuits and changes to fishing practices over time that have had major influence on marine populations.

Multiple Islands
Wetland Cultural Heritage in the Pacific

By: Amado S. Tolentino Jr.
International Review of Environmental Strategies, 7(1):155-162
Key words: Wetland, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji
Local people contribute much to wetland conservation, and the Pacific island countries offer invaluable information demonstrating the cultural value of wetlands vis-à-vis sustainable livelihoods. Drawing primarily on examples from Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Fiji, but generalizing for many of the Pacific countries, this paper argues that traditional uses of and indigenous cultural expression in wetland areas, and the wise use of wetland resources, should be identified and incorporated in the conservation and management of these unique aquatic-terrestrial ecosystems.

The Interface Between Traditional and Modern Methods of Fishery Management in the Pacific Islands
By: Tim Adamsa
Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 40, Issues 2–3, Pages 127-142
Key words: Government-community cooperation, local initiatives, community-mediated management
One of the most compelling advantages of community-focused management plans is the diversity of opinions and solutions that it can lead to. Three examples of successful government-community partnerships highlight how different, and how useful, non-academic solutions can be when they are informed by multiple generations of experience.

New Zealand
You can't be a kaitiaki from a distance
By: Kennedy Warne
November 11, 2018
Key words: Maori, water ways, TEK, New Zealand
This article is a book review of Mountains to Sea. The author discusses the water issues and traditional view of these ecosystems. Through interviews of the authors of Mountains to Sea, the article is able to discuss the Maori's view and relationship with New Zealand's water systems. Through this view, the article calls for a restoration of the human-to-nature relationship.

Biocultural Conservation of Marine Ecosystems: Examples from New Zealand and Canada
By: Janet Stephenson, Fikret Berkes, Nancy J. Turner, & Jonathon Dick
Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 12(2):257-265
Key words: Biocultural Conservation, Social-Ecological Systems, Indigenous Knowledge, Fisheries, Biodiversity
Place-specific knowledge systems, combined with hands-on resource use and a long-term commitment to sustaining resources and ecosystems, are vitally important in restoring the planet to health. This approach is already an integral part of the resource use and management systems of many Indigenous and tribal peoples worldwide, whose knowledge and practices reflect a long history of co-evolving and interdependent social-ecological systems. Negotiated settlements of Indigenous rights issues in New Zealand and Canada have resulted in new opportunities for the expression and application of Indigenous management approaches, including in coastal fisheries.

Missing in Translation: Maori Language and Oral Tradition in Scientific Analyses of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)
By: Priscilla M. Wehi, Hemi Whaanga, & Tom Roa
Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 39(4):201-204
Recent conceptual shifts in ecology towards integration of humans into ecosystems requires all possible sources of ecological knowledge available. Māori traditional ecological knowledge of natural systems (TEK) can add valuable ecological data to more conventional scientific studies as the former tends to be diachronic, based on a cumulative system of understanding the environment founded on observations and experience, while the latter is frequently synchronic, with experiments that may explore causal effects in ecological patterns.

The Renaissance of Community-Based Marine Resource Management in Oceania

By: R. E. Johannes
Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, Vol. 33:317-340
Key words: Community management, natural resource management, scarcity, village-based authority, cooperative management
Community-based marine resource management (CBMRM) has been making a comeback over the last twenty years within some island communities due to perceived scarcity, the revitalization of village-based authority, and other causes. In the examples provided, co-management, led primarily by community decisions, illustrate the efficacy of applied TEK.

Traditional Forest Conservation Knowledge/Technologies in the Cordillera, Northern Philippines
By: Leni D. Camacho, Marilyn S. Combalicer, Youn Teo-Chang, Edwin A. Combalicer, Antonio P. Carangdang, Sofronio C. Camacho, Catherine C. de Luna, & Lucrecio L. Rebugio
Forest Policy and Economics, 22:3-8
Key words: Cordillera, Forest Conservation Technologies, Gen-gen, Indigenous/traditional knowledge, Lapat, Muyong
In the Philippines, indigenous knowledge has been recognized to contribute to sustainability of production systems, having been validated for their technical and scientific soundness by many investigators. It was in 1992 that the Philippine government gave recognition to the potentials of indigenous knowledge systems following the Earth Summit in 1992. The paper describes the different knowledge systems for natural resources management in the Cordillera as practiced by the people with different beliefs, culture and traditions.

Ua ‘afa le Aso Stormy Weather Today: Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Weather and Climate. The Samoa Experience
By: Penehuro Fatu Lefale
Climatic Change
Key words: cloud formation, severe weather, seasonal changes, adaptation, small islands, tropical cyclones, Samoa, indicator species
Samoans utilize a seasonal calendar which is based on environmental observations and behavioral changes in indicator species. Their ability to predict storm conditions and environmental changes to the larger region are particularly useful to climate change mitigation strategies.

Solomon Islands
Indigenous Knowledge and Long-term Ecological Change: Detection, Interpretation, and Responses to Changing Ecological Conditions in Pacific Island Communities
By: Matthew Lauer, Shanker Aswani
Environmental Management, 45:985-997
When local resource users detect, understand, and respond to environmental change they can more effectively manage environmental resources. This article assesses these abilities among artisanal fishers in Roviana Lagoon, Solomon Islands. In a comparison of two villages, it documents local resource users’ abilities to monitor longterm ecological change occurring to seagrass meadows near their communities, their understandings of the drivers of change, and their conceptualizations of seagrass ecology.

Integrating Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and Customary Sea Tenure with Marine and Social Science for Conservation
By: Shanker Aswani and Richard J. Hamilton
Environmental Conservation, 31(1):69-83
Key words: parrot fish, Solomon Islands, Roviana Lagoon, fishing, marine, conservation, fishing
The bumphead parrotfish is dwindling in numbers, especially around the Solomon Islands due to over fishing. This article looks at the way fishing is done today in comparison to the traditional ways of fishing. Through the traditional fishing knowledge the article was able to verify that the bumphead parrotfish numbers are very low, and look at possible conservation methods to protect the species.

Sri Lanka
Community-Based Forest Management and Forest Governance in Sri Lanka: Formal Recognition, Devolution of Authority and Setting Prototype Design

By: M. De Zoysa, L. Saubhagya, and M. Inoue
Indiana University, conference paper
Key words: decentralization, community forestry, flexible monitoring system
While community-based forest management has legal recognition and support through legislation in Sri Lanka, the forest communities continue to struggle to influence future policy due to barriers to entry. This article is an analysis of Sri Lankan policy and the remaining problem areas within.

Last updated: May 10, 2019