Traditional Ecological Knowledge (WG4)

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We understand Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to refer to the evolving knowledge acquired by indigenous people and local communities over hundreds or thousands of years through direct contact with the natural environment. We focus on TEK acquired by coastal communities whose way of life has been relying on many aspects of the marine environment. In addition to indigenous people from remote parts of the world's coasts and islands (such as traditions from the Pacific islands or coastal communities in Indonesia), we also include traditions of local coastal communities in Europe, in areas where they may now often be overlooked because of a supremacy acquired by new scientific knowledge.  Traditional knowledge is critical and has proven to unravel approaches that modern science had not discovered. However, it has often been transmitted primarily orally, making it more difficult to access and document. It is therefore critical to trace it, understand it and integrate it to current knowledge and management. 

This WG4 focuses on supporting the integration of relevant TEK as well as the perspective of local communities in the development of marine policy.

With respect to our work with intergovernmental bodies, we engage on this topic in the context of projects carried out under the purview of the Arctic Council. 

Members of our network are social scientists who work in this field in different parts of the world and we aim this WG to serve as a platform to better share this work globally and in the context of other intergovernmental bodies.