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|Biodiversity and recipe contests: Innovative socioecological approaches to capture ecological knowledge and conserve biodiversity in Arunachal Pradesh
|Singh, Ranjay K
|Biodiversity contests;Recipe contest;Traditional ecological knowledge;School children;Adi women;Conservation;Knowledge network;Arunachal Pradesh
|Int. Cl.8: A01
|Despite the continued efforts being made by government and policy makers to articulate ways of preserving biodiversity and its associated knowledge systems, a limited success has been recorded in environmental learning for conservation. The ‘biodiversity contests’ among younger generations of native people, and ‘recipe contests’ of uncommon forest plants and field crops among rural women are two important methods that have been devised to reduce erosion of indigenous biodiversity based knowledge systems. This paper demonstrates about the contests based approaches applied in mobilizing rural and school children, and elders of Adi tribe to enhance their ecological knowledge about local plant species. These contests were organized among Adi school children and rural women, respectively of East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Different events including radio talks, public meetings, contact with key individuals, circulation of posters and pamphlets and group discussions were organized to sensitize the members about events. In second phase, individual schools and villages were contacted to set-up the biodiversity and recipe contests. Results indicated that school children demonstrated encouraging results by presenting systematic herbaria of local plants, including uses, ecology and source of learning. The children from rural backgrounds had more knowledge than those from more settled areas, and were able to contribute more than 100 forest and semi-forest plants in their collections. Sampling and preparation of herbarium excelled knowledge among children about local species. Creation of vertical knowledge networks among school children, and group contests resulted in revealing more knowledge about local biodiversity as compared to individual participation, thus reflecting synergism. During recipe contests, Adi women showed a sound knowledge of local biodiversity, presenting as traditional foods with more than 50 indigenous forest based plants, many of which are locally uncommon. Significantly, the Gaon Burha (village headman) helped in diffusion of knowledge on plants and expanding learning networks created by children and women. It is concluded that creating a platform on which contests based ecological knowledge of community is collaborated with formal knowledge systems, can ultimately contribute in conserving biodiversity more sustainably.
|0975-1068 (Online); 0972-5938 (Print)
|Appears in Collections:
|IJTK Vol.12(2) [April 2013]
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