Innovation in Local and Global Learning Systems for Sustainability: Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity: Learning contributions of the Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development
Unnikrishnan Payyappallimana and Zinaida Fadeeva (eds)
UNU-IAS, 2013 | ISBN: 978-92-808-4540-2

This book includes case studies on biodiversity and traditional knowledge provided by several Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs). The RCEs were developed as sites for participatory learning and action within the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, opening up more collaborative and inclusive learning spaces towards more just and sustainable ways of life. The case studies examined in this publication are characterized by local expertise being brought together for transformative learning. Be it the biocultural approaches or the contexts of today’s policymaking, the case studies demonstrate the need for three key approaches to ensure education for sustainable development is successful. First, the need for ‘learning by doing’, second, the value of learning from practitioners and third, the importance of collective interventions.

The case studies provide an important reality check on the way traditional and indigenous knowledge on biodiversity is being increasingly widely recognized in a variety of social, cultural, economic and environmental contexts. The book also demonstrates further the interlinkages between biological and cultural diversity and raises important questions for further research and for the development of policies which can be better reflective of a more integrated approach to dealing with biodiversity i.e. an approach which takes the cultural element of sustainable development into due account. It is argued that the education and learning experiences conducted in the context of the RCEs reveal how artificial separating biodiversity knowledge from culture can be. It is only through a process of co-learning among all stakeholders concerned with biodiversity – each representing a cultural perspective – that appropriate biodiversity and ecosystem services policies can be co-designed. Download the publication [pdf] …