Recognition of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge Systems in Conservation and Their Role to Narrow the Knowledge-Implementation Gap

Emilie Ens, Victoria Reyes-García, Hugo Asselin, Minna Hsu, Elsa Reimerson, Kiri Reihana, Bevyline Sithole, Xiaoli Shen, Vanessa Cavanagh, Michael Adams

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


    Over recent decades, Indigenous knowledge (IK) systems, people, and territories have increasingly been recognized in mainstream conservation practice. However, recognition of the value of IK by governing bodies varies and is often a result of colonial and “development” history and the strength of hegemonic attitudes. Through regional case studies, this chapter explores the progress and challenges of integrating IK in conservation action which is key to narrowing the knowledge-implementation gap in this discipline. Key enabling factors allow IK integration into conservation action at national levels including: recognition of Indigenous land ownership; development and acceptance of cross-cultural or Indigenous methods; devolution of power to include Indigenous People in decision-making processes; acknowledgment of Indigenous groups and their rights; and acknowledgment of the benefits of using IK in biodiversity conservation. The regional case studies presented in this chapter suggest that the recognition of IK systems in conservation programs is greatly facilitated by adopting three pillars of Indigenous empowerment (Indigenous land ownership, acknowledgment of Indigenous peoples and their rights, and acknowledgment of the value of Indigenous knowledge systems) with concomitant benefit to narrow the knowledge-implementation gap in conservation science.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationClosing the Knowledge-Implementation Gap in Conservation Science
    Subtitle of host publicationInterdisciplinary Evidence Transfer Across Sectors and Spatiotemporal Scales
    EditorsCatarina C. Ferreira, Cornelya F. C. Klütsch
    Place of PublicationCham
    Number of pages31
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-81085-6
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-81084-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Publication series

    NameWildlife Research Monographs
    ISSN (Print)2366-8733
    ISSN (Electronic)2366-8741


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