Ecological Indigenous (EIK) and Scientific (ESK) Knowledge Integration as a Tool for Sustainable Development in Indigenous Communities. Experience in Misiones, Argentina (book chapter)

Rocha, Niella, Keller, Montagnini, Metzel, Eibl, Kornel, Romero, López, Araujo, Barquinero 2017

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Abstract: Globally, and particularly in Argentina, biodiversity is declining due to the loss of species and habitats, while indigenous cultures are being eroded simultaneously. This results in a reduced capacity to transmit indigenous cultural diversity, the EIK (Ecological Indigenous Knowledge), and biological and cultural resources for future generations. The traditional use of the land by indigenous peoples for thousands of years has contributed to maintain biodiversity and cultural values. The use of EIK can generate new strategies for R + D (Research and Development) for biodiversity conservation and for the implementation of natural resources management (NRM) systems promoting the integration of indigenous communities in decision-making processes. This chapter reports results of an analysis on integration of EIK and ESK (Ecological Scientific Knowledge) in NRM in Misiones Province (Argentina). We describe the results and recommendations generated by analyzing national and international experiences in NRM, including agroforestry; and present a case study in the indigenous communities that inhabit the Guarani Reserve for Multiple Use (GRMU) of the School of Forestry-National University of Misiones, regarding NRM activities and related cultural values. From the results of surveys conducted with indigenous communities it appears that the place where the EIK can regenerate lies in the natural context where the EIK has originated. There is a need to take preventive measures to remediate the erosive processes that undermine the integrity of the cultural setting where the EIK could be applied. Preventive measures include the legal possession of large areas of forest in order to stop or slow the advance of the agricultural frontier on natural spaces where the EIK is recreated.