A new study has 'proofed' the scientific value of indigenous and local knowledge collected from community members using focus groups.
Bringing together "western scientific" and "indigenous and local" knowledge is a goal of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The information is needed to fulfil a function of IPBES which is to produce assessments of the state of the planet's environment, and identify changes over time. However, assuring its usefulness and quality is a challenge of bringing together western science and indigenous knowledge.
The results of this study confirm that indigenous and local knowledge is valid source of information for assessment processes such as IPBES. The publication was highlighted in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. It received substantial media coverage.
UNEP-WCMC Press Release can be found here.
The publication in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment can be found here.
Danielsen, F., et all. 2014. Testing focus groups as a tool for connecting indigenous and local knowledge on abundance of natural resources with science-based land management systems. Conservation Letters Doi: 10.1111/conl.12100.