Integrating indigenous knowledge of birds into conservation planning in New Guinea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

It has been difficult to integrate indigenous knowledge into conservation planning. Although indigenous naturalists have accumulated generations of observations concerning their environments, stereotypes concerning their relationship to nature have frustrated attempts to involve indigenous societies in conservation. However, unencumbered by western philosophy, indigenous naturalists have been developing a dynamic view of nature that incorporates connectedness, disturbance and recovery as a normal course of events in the natural world. This non-linear view of nature has only recently emerged as scientific consensus. In this article, I argue that communication between conservationists and indigenous people can be facilitated by using indigenous knowledge of birds to identify the impacts of tradition on biodiversity. Birds are a commonly acknowledged indicator of biodiversity. Because indigenous people have a long-range perspective on the effects of human activity on avian diversity, they can provide a perspective vital to conservation planning. Drawing on ethno-ecological fieldwork with the Hewa of Papua New Guinea, this paper presents an indigenous perspective on the effects of traditional activities on birds. The Hewa describe their traditions as shaping the environment by creating a mosaic of habitats of varying diversity. I argue that the while the current lifestyle of the Hewa may not necessarily be a template for future sustainability, the Hewa view of the natural world provides insights into the potential of indigenous people to conserve their resources.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrends in Ornithology Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages121-136
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781608764549
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2010

Fingerprint

New Guinea
indigenous peoples
indigenous knowledge
Birds
planning
Biodiversity
birds
biodiversity
Papua New Guinea
stereotyped behavior
communication (human)
Human Activities
physical activity
lifestyle
Ecosystem
Life Style
Consensus
Communication
habitats

Cite this

Thomas, W. (2010). Integrating indigenous knowledge of birds into conservation planning in New Guinea. In Trends in Ornithology Research (pp. 121-136). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..
Thomas, William. / Integrating indigenous knowledge of birds into conservation planning in New Guinea. Trends in Ornithology Research. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2010. pp. 121-136
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Thomas, W 2010, Integrating indigenous knowledge of birds into conservation planning in New Guinea. in Trends in Ornithology Research. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., pp. 121-136.

Integrating indigenous knowledge of birds into conservation planning in New Guinea. / Thomas, William.

Trends in Ornithology Research. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2010. p. 121-136.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

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Thomas W. Integrating indigenous knowledge of birds into conservation planning in New Guinea. In Trends in Ornithology Research. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. 2010. p. 121-136