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Linking Social and Ecological Systems for Resilience and Sustainability

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Berkes, Fikret; Folke, Carl
Date: 1994
Agency: Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden
Series: Beijer Discussion Paper Series no. 52
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4352
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Subject(s): sustainability
resource management
local knowledge
Abstract: "Traditional resource management systems or other local-level systems, based on the knowledge and experience of the resource users themselves, may have the potential to improve management of a number of ecosystems types. A considerable amount of evidence has accumulated to suggest that ecologically sensible indigenous practices have or had existed, for example, in the case of some tropical forests, island ecosystems, tropical fisheries, and semi-arid grazing lands. Given that Western resource management has not been all that successful in many of these environments, perhaps there are lessons to be learned from the cultural capital of societies which have elaborated these practices, a view echoed in Our Common Future. Ancient cultures and indigenous peoples do not have monopoly over ecological wisdom; there are cases of local, newly emergent or 'neo-traditional' resource management systems which cannot claim historical continuity over generations but which are nevertheless based on local knowledge and practice appropriately adapted to the ecological systems in which they occur."

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