January 2012

Community managed forests and forest protected areas: An assessment of their conservation effectiveness across the tropics
Luciana Porter-Bolland, Edward A. Ellis, Manuel R. Guariguata, Isabel Ruiz-Mallén, Simoneta Negrete-Yankelevich, Victoria Reyes-García
Forest Ecology and Management, June 2011, doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2011.05.034

This paper assesses the role of protected and community managed forests for the long term maintenance of forest cover in the tropics. Through a meta-analysis of published case-studies, the authors compare land use/cover change data for these two broad types of forest management and assess their performance in maintaining forest cover. Case studies included 40 protected areas and 33 community managed forests from the peer reviewed literature. A statistical comparison of annual deforestation rates and a Qualitative Comparative Analysis were conducted. It was found that as a whole, community managed forests presented lower and less variable annual deforestation rates than protected forests. The authors consider that a more resilient and robust forest conservation strategy should encompass a regional vision with different land use types in which social and economic needs of local inhabitants, as well as tenure rights and local capacities, are recognized. Further research for understanding institutional arrangements that derive from local governance in favor of tropical forest conservation is recommended. Download the paper [pdf] …Read CIFOR’s press release on the study …

Use the law to protect traditional knowledge
Business Daily, 15 January 2012

NAIROBI, KENYA: In this article, Cathy Mputhia argues that the Kenyan Constitution and relevant laws include provisions requiring that the State protect the rights of local communities, prevent exploitation related to illegal bioprospecting, and ensure equitable sharing of benefits. Read the article …

Ethnobotany of The Kondh, Poraja, Gadaba and Bonda of the Koraput Region of Odisha, India
Merlin Franco F., D. Narasimhan
D.K. Printworld, January 2012 | ISBN: 9788124606193

This book discusses the history and importance of ethnobotany with specific reference to four tribal communities of Odisha, India. It begins with an account of the nature of the tribes involved in the study. Based on participatory fieldwork, it presents an insider’s account of the tribal culture and its relationship with plants. It provides the ethnobotanical descriptions of 210 species of plants belonging to 77 families, presenting their local names, origin and the medicinal, cultural, culinary, economic, ecological uses of the species. It takes up study of the plants used by tribes in the drug-based and spiritual healing processes, elaborating the philosophies behind knowledge transmission such as divination, hereditary, discipleship and kinship. Related aspects such as disease diagnosis, diet restrictions and rituals are depicted in detail. There is a special chapter on forests and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) that details the efforts of communities in forest conservation, their land-use patterns, forest classification systems, list of NTFPs and their harvest-consumption patterns. Purchase the book from D.K. Printworld …

FAO officially recognized the Traditional Agricultural System of Koraput as a Globally Important Agricultural System (GIAHS)
FAO release, 3 January 2012

BHUBANESWAR, INDIA: The traditional agricultural system of Koraput is the first agricultural system in India to be officially recognized by FAO for its outstanding contribution towards promoting food security, biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and cultural diversity for sustainable and equitable development. The announcement was made by India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the inauguration of the Indian Science Congress, and is considered an extremely important recognition for India’s tribal agriculture. Read the release … Read a related article in The Hindu

African Young Scientists issue statement on climate change and indigenous knowledge
IUCN Commission on Education and Communication, 6 January 2012

GLAND, SWITZERLAND: Roundtable discussions on the role of young scientists and indigenous knowledge systems in climate change adaptation and mitigation were organized at the climate change conference in Durban by the African Young Scientists Initiative on Climate Change and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AYSICCIKS). The discussions resulted in a communiqué that asserts that young people can mobilize communities to use indigenous knowledge to respond to climate change. Indigenous knowledge systems include early warning systems, such as behaviors of living organisms, short-term weather monitoring cycles, climatic variability experiences and use of appropriate livestock breeds, plant varieties, resource management practices, e.g. mixed cropping practices, and cultivation of drought resistance crops for sustainable food security. Such systems need to be documented to inform climate change research and development in order to contribute to the global body of knowledge for sustainable solutions to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Read the release … Download the communiqué [pdf] …

Community-based Climate Change Action Grants: Application Guidelines
AusAID, January 2012

The Australian Government is committing up to AUD$30 million over two years (2011-12 to 2012-13) to community-based climate change action grants to support community-based adaptation and mitigation activities in developing countries. Community-based activities can play an important role in helping developing countries respond to climate change, while also contributing to poverty reduction and enhancing livelihoods. By working directly with communities and using local knowledge, activities can be targeted to address community priorities and build the capacity of communities to respond to climate change challenges and development needs.

Grants are available for Australian and international NGOs to work with local organisations to scale up current successful community-based climate change activities or to build a climate change component into existing community development activities in the Pacific and South East Asia. The grants fall into two main categories: Community-based adaptation grants, which will help build the resilience of communities to the impacts of climate change; and community-based mitigation grants, which will help communities reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions, while also addressing key development priorities. Preference will be given to proposals where the organisation has an established relationship with communities. The program will therefore focus on opportunities to scale-up and build on existing efforts to help communities respond to climate change, or to build a climate change component into existing community development activities. Applications must use the Proposal Template attached as Annex 2 to the Guidelines. They must be submitted to climategrants@ausaid.gov.au by 10 February 2012. Download the guidelines, including eligibility and selection criteria, proposal template and other details [pdf] …

AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition, seventh meeting
23 January 2012 (Washington DC, USA)

The meeting will begin with an opening plenary presented by Rebecca Tsosie, Executive Director of the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. It will continue with working group meetings, training workshops, and panel discussions on: research collaborations with indigenous scientists and communities; indigenous people, human rights, science and technology; and benefit sharing: a human rights approach to indigenous knowledge. An evening panel will focus on “indigenous voices in scientific debate: human rights, the environment and climate change” where panelists will discuss the role of traditional knowledge in developing responses to climate change, the ways in which indigenous communities have contributed to the larger scientific and policy dialogue, and efforts to protect indigenous peoples’ rights under domestic policies and international treaties. Visit the event’s website …

Indigenous ecosystem-based adaptation and community-based ecocultural restoration during rapid climate change disruption: Lessons for Western restorationists
Dennis Martinez, paper prepared for the 4th World Congress on Ecological Restoration, August 2011

In this paper, Dennis Martinez argues that ecocultural restoration is the primary building block for ecosystem-based adaptation. Ecocultural restoration is distinguished from ecological restoration by its additional focus on culturally important species while also taking care of the non-cultural communities that the cultural plants are associated with; and the use of traditional landcare practices like prescribed burning, selective harvesting, microsite-targeted agroecology, and agroforestry through selective cutting and replanting. He notes the potential for complementarity between Indigenous and Western ways of knowing in meeting the challenge of rapid climate disruption through ecocultural restoration and ecosystem-based adaptation, and increasing mutually respectful collaborations in the field between Western researchers and Native experts. However, Western scientists still need to understand that the source of traditional ecological knowledge depends on the survival of Indigenous cultures, not scientific papers and books. Restoration ecology must move beyond its present ideological fixation on a purely autogenic nature and embrace a natural world that in large part includes Indigenous cultural practices, and reestablish the relationship between culture and nature. Read the paper …

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