Indigenous and local knowledge systems often contribute to local, regional and global sustainability. While these knowledge systems are often highly resilient, they are now being eroded at alarming rates.
The environmental knowledge that indigenous peoples and local communities hold plays a crucial role in human well-being and sustainable environmental governance. Our study contributes to the “Scientists’ warning to humanity” series and emphasises the threats that the past and current socioeconomic and environmental changes are posing on indigenous and local knowledge systems.
In addition to reviewing the risks and consequences of losing indigenous and local knowledge systems, the study presents three case studies to illustrate the complexity of protecting different knowledge systems. Importantly, we provide 15 recommendations that call for recognition for the value of these knowledge systems, and support of indigenous peoples and local communities to maintain them.
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University of Helsinki news on the article
Fernández-Llamazares Á. et al. 2021. Scientists’ warning to humanity on threats to indigenous and local knowledge systems. Journal of Ethnobiology 41, 2.