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Title: Traditional Knowledge on Disaster Management: A preliminary study of the Lepcha Community of Sikkim, India
Authors: Jha, Vanya
Jha, Ajeya
Keywords: Sikkim Himalayas;Disaster awareness;Disaster preparedness;Disaster indicators;Effect and response to disasters;Disaster mitigation
Issue Date: Jan-2011
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
IPC Code: Int. Cl.8 : E04H 9/16; E04H 9/00; G01W; A01G15/00
Abstract: Traditional knowledge has only recently touched the scientific chord of western academic knowledge. More and more researchers today are turning towards it not only to fill gaps in existing societal knowledge but also to find novel knowledge concepts and viewpoints for application in a contemporary context. Since tribal groups have lived within their local environments since time immemorial it is obvious that they do possess a rich knowledge about nature. Hence, research on nature and environments is enriched by incorporating traditional knowledge of indigenous and tribal peoples. Such knowledge is a precious national resource that can facilitate the processes of disaster prevention, preparedness and response in cost-effective, participatory and sustainable ways. This paper explores the traditional knowledge on disaster management of the Lepcha tribal people of Sikkim. It establishes that in the guise of folklore, the Lepcha have developed an elaborate understanding of the nature and causes of disasters and have identified accurate and precise indicators to assist in predicting disasters, as well as ways and means of mitigating their effects. Lepcha traditional knowledge finds echoes in some of the current principles of disaster management. We conclude that traditional knowledge of tribal groups all over the world not only needs to be recognized, conserved and documented but also is to be incorporated into efforts to formulate effective disaster management strategies.
Page(s): 173-182
ISSN: 0975-1068 (Online); 0972-5938 (Print)
Appears in Collections:IJTK Vol.10(1) [January 2011]

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