Date(s) - April 12, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
LSC 306, Lory Student Center
Indigenous Knowledge Revitalization for
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Helsinki, Finland
Some of the areas hosting most of the world’s biodiversity are inhabited by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. In the same way that the biosphere is being severely eroded by global change, so is the world’s ethnosphere (i.e., the variety of living traditions, cultures and languages). Research has documented how current cultural trends towards adopting Western lifestyles disrupt the cycle of intergenerational transmission of Indigenous Knowledge of many indigenous communities around the world, ultimately destabilizing the local customary institutions for the governance of biodiversity. Based on in-depth ethnoecological work in Madagascar, Kenya and Bolivian Amazonia, this seminar will address the erosion of Indigenous Knowledge, as well as the implications of this loss for biodiversity conservation. We will then move to explore the numerous opportunities offered by revitalization policies to restore customary institutions for ecosystem management. I will particularly focus on the potential of storytelling for revitalizing the world’s biocultural diversity and facilitating intergenerational transfer of Indigenous Knowledge in several conservation contexts.
About the Speaker
Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares (PhD in Environmental Sciences, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 2015) is an ethnoecologist based at the University of Helsinki, in Finland. Most of his research focuses on the study of Indigenous and Local Knowledge systems and the application of biocultural approaches to conservation. He has participated in international research projects in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Kenya and Madagascar, conducting more than 25 months of in-depth etnographic fieldwork, mostly with Indigenous communities. He has co-authored over 35 scientific papers and he serves as a Fellow at the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Thus far in his research career, he has received several awards, including Olli’s Prize 2014 from the University of Helsinki and the Catalan Research Prize on Environmental Sciences (year 2015).