Equity and reciprocity creates synergies across knowledge systems: the Multiple Evidence Base approach

Equity and reciprocity creates synergies across knowledge systems: the Multiple Evidence Base approach

Pernilla MALMER (Sweden)

SwedBio at Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden

It is increasingly important to establish transdiciplinary methods for exchange of knowledge and experiences amongst indigenous peoples, governments and scientists to reinforce the links between cultural diversity and the sustainability of the global environment based on equity. Our diversity of cultures is our source material for learning to live well on a human dominated planet. This presentation aims at present experiences of a collaborative partnership between a diversity of knowledge systems piloting a Multiple Evidence Base approach (MEB)  for co-generation of knowledge and methods for mutual learning across knowledge systems. A MEB approach has received quite some interest in policy, e.g. within IPBES and CBD, as well as in the scientific community, but there is a great need to test and evaluate the relevance of such an approach in a community driven context. The piloting is initiated and conducted by the indigenous peoples and local communities themselves and based on their own needs and priorities. The project partners are: African Biodiversity Network  with Institute for Cultural Ecology (ICE) , Kenya and MELCA, Ethiopia ; Forest Peoples Programme (FPP)  with Fundación para la Promocción de Conocimiento Indígena (FPCI); Pgakenyaw Association for Sustainable Development (PASD) , Thaliand; Tebtebba Foundation, Philippines ; and SwedBio  at Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden . The communities involved are mobilizing knowledge to develop responses to challenges emerging from global changes such as climate change, e.g. recover lost diversity of seeds, or protect and revitalize sacred natural sites that protect water sources. Mobilizing knowledge is also part of efforts to demonstrate the sustainability of their traditional management and governance, as informed knowledge for enhanced policies and decisions at scales beyond the local. This leads to respect and recognition of their customary skills and rights to their resources, creating space to respond to climate change based on their own experience accumulated over time. A range of methods and procedures are employed in the pilots, emerging from the particular biocultural system. There is also an interest and need for data generated using scientific methods, e.g. from natural science, and sources from other knowledge systems that is relevant for the challenges they are facing. The Multiple Evidence Base approach is useful to create an enriched picture of knowledges from different knowledge systems, with full integrity, side by side on equal level, bringing a comprehensive understanding of the situation.



I am agronomist by training with a comprehensive professional experience from indigenous peoples organizations, farmers' organizations, NGOs, government and universities, with particular focus on biodiversity and rights, agro-ecology, indigenous and local knowledge, resilience and global change. In the 80s I was part of establishing the organic agriculture movement and working with rural development and cooperative mobilization in Sweden. In the 90s I worked on the ground with indigenous and smallholder farmers organizations in Central America. Since then my work has been focused on linking local action to global policy related to livelihoods, biodiversity and rights. I was International Secretary at the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, building their collaboration with farmers and indigenous organizations from 1997 to 2005, when I started to work at SwedBio as Senior Advisor.  SwedBio is since 2011 part of Stockholm Resilience Centre, based at Stockholm University. SRC focus is on sustainability science for biosphere stewardship. SwedBio is a knowledge interface, enabling knowledge generation, dialogue and exchange between practitioners, policymakers and scientists for development and implementation of policies and methods at multiple scales. I am co-ordinating the transdiciplinary work on methods development for connecting diverse knowledge systems regarding IPLCs, scientific institutions, governments, and UN bodies. I am engaged in relevant international processes related to biodiversity and ILK, as SwedBio at SRC as well as technical expert in Swedish delegations. Other areas of my expertise are resilience assessments and co-ordination of international programs, workshops and dialogues.

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