Resilience to Climate Change Using Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Western Science
Tuesday, August 11, 2015: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
327, Baltimore Convention Center
Susan Hummel, USDA Forest Service
Michelle L. Stevens, California State University
Jesse Ford, Oregon State University
Indigenous cultures that persist have demonstrated their resilience to environmental changes over millennia. Lessons about resilience from indigenous peoples thus offer insight as we develop approaches for understanding and adapting to climate change. Indigenous resilience has often been associated with (a) a deep knowledge of, and respect for, ecological systems, (b) recognition of the relationship between ecological and human well-being, (c) flexibility in the use of natural resources, and (d) institutional mechanisms that are responsive to variability in ecological and human systems. In the present session, these attributes are explored as they relate to the four constituents of ancient cosmologies— air, earth, fire, and water—and integrated with western scientific knowledge systems. In whole, the session seeks to identify lessons about resilience for land management that can be learned from traditional ecological knowledge and scientific research.