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Search for Sustainable Solutions: How Do We Build Upon Indigenous Ecological Knowledge System?

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Gupta, Anil K.
Date: 1993
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4311
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): sustainability
resource management
collective action
indigenous knowledge
participatory development
Abstract: "This paper is about the mediation that a cultural and institutional memory provides to the interface between objective environmental conditions and subjective human preceptions. Disturbances occur. But societies which survive evolve ways of repairing the errors. The ecolgical systems also have capacity to repair themselves but with in their homeostatic limits. Mutations occur. The selection of chance solutions in socio- ecological interactions does not take place only through laws of natural selection. Human cultures can inhibit some times and enable at other times selection of certain arrangements. Gupta and Ura (1992) have observed in Bhutan that the consequences of what may be considered an externality is in fact the outcome of cultural consciousness. In Bhutan, a wide boundary of responsibility leading to shared consequences was an important outcome of historical institutional development. Once the state or other authorities supersede the power of religion, village or community institutions without providing space for them to evolve and adapt, the conflicts between desired perceptions of this boundary and its newly legislated limits invariably arise."

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