Tracking Change: The Role of Local and Traditional Knowledge in Watershed Governance

Freshwater river systems are the basis of many families' livelihoods and well-being around the world, but also present some of the greatest governance challenges. Questions about how social and ecological changes are interconnected at local to global scales are among these challenges. Multi-generational subsistence fishers (including Indigenous communities) in the Mackenzie-Amazon-Mekong River Basins, with generations of local and traditional knowledge (LTK), can tell us more about these interconnections and how they can be managed to ensure sustainability for current and future generations. How can knowledge generated at local scales be networked to provide insight at larger scales? Given that LTK is often based on oral traditions, relatively little has been documented. In Canada, Brazil and Thailand/Laos, sources of documented LTK come from very different kinds of research initiatives. Although more coordinated LTK work has been done in the Mekong, present understanding of all three Basins is patchy and uneven. This research seeks to address such gaps in understanding through a network of LTK research activities with a number of partners (Aboriginal organizations, co-management boards, governments, academics).

The project lead is B. Parlee

For more information please visit the project webpage.

This project is funded by SSHRC.