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Fishing in the `Troubled` Waters: Recognizing, Respecting, and Rewarding Local Ecological Knowledge, Innovations and Practices Concerning Aquatic Biological Diversity

  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Philosophy


The study of indigenous ecological knowledge has become an important building block of any participatory approach to natural resources management. It is not the outsiders alone who benefit from the study of indigenous ecological knowledge but even the communities themselves may benefit a great deal if they are provided the opportunity to learn from each other as well as from formal science. In this paper, I look at the relationship among knowledge providers and the outside users with specific reference to aquatic biological diversity. Given the asymmetric relationship among the knowledge providers and the users, I draw attention to the efforts made by Honey Bee Network in influencing the ethics and equity of the knowledge exchange among various stake holders. I discuss the concept of sacred waters and other institutions for conserving aquatic biodiversity. Different kinds of material and non-material incentives for individuals and communities are described. Suggestions are made for changing the ethical basis of knowledge and resource exchange among those who conserve resources and those who use them besides other policy and management interventions that can empower local communities and enrich modern science and technology in the context of aquatic biological diversity.

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