Using local experts as benchmarks for household local ecological knowledge: scoring in South African savannas

Steele, M.Z and Shackleton, C.M. (2010) Using local experts as benchmarks for household local ecological knowledge: scoring in South African savannas. Journal of Environmental Management, 91 (8). pp. 1641-1646. ISSN 0301-4797

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Abstract

It is well recognised that local ecological knowledge is an important facet of natural resource management in rural regions of the developing world. However, techniques to assess levels and to integrate it into formal or informal management approaches require further development. In particular, quantitative tools are missing, which would allow more robust analysis of the factors that positively or negatively affect local ecological knowledge and vice versa. This paper reports on a quick assessment approach that provides a quantitative score of generalist local ecological knowledge at the household level. It does so by comparing responses to the knowledge of local people identified as experts within the community. In this way it is both locally constructed and contextualized, and thereby avoids pitfalls of trying to score local ecological knowledge relative to conventional scientific knowledge which frequently cannot account for local constructs. The approach is applied at eight villages throughout the savanna biome in South Africa.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Experts; Local ecological knowledge; Savanna; Scoring; South Africa; natural resource management; indigenous knowledge
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Environmental Science
ID Code:2435
Deposited By: Prof Charlie Shackleton
Deposited On:13 Feb 2012 09:50
Last Modified:13 Feb 2012 09:50
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