After years of grappling with probable solutions to control climate change, ecologists and researchers are resorting to traditional knowledge of the aborigines to deal with global warming.
This in a way is helping them develop an intense understanding about nature and its dynamism, designing strategic and sustainable solutions bring about a change in the scenario. Ranging from saving melting glaciers, preventing wildfires, controlling greenhouse emissions to protecting the biodiversity from falling prey to the effects of climate change, the steps adopted are substantial.
The Changing Scenario As Reported by Natives
Conversations with indigenous tribes in Alaska manifested that there has been a massive transition in the ocean ecology these days. There have been a multiplication in the beaver population which is increasingly replacing the spawning habitat for salmon and such other, thus leading to fewer belugas (whales). Surprisingly the coordination between oceanic and freshwater ecology was never thought of earlier.
The changes occurring over the years were meticulously monitored by scientists, ethno-biologists, ornithologists as an integral part of their disciplinary study. It is only lately that the reports and surveys have caught the attention of the commoners. There is a growing fetish to turn back to Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)- a reserve of knowledge contributed by tribes who have lived by it since ancient times.
Skolt Sami- natives of Finland sensed drop in the spawning sites for fish as well as reduction in the population of young salmon and adopted a positive change. The use of seine nets were reduced and focus was on catching more pike that feed onto salmons at the growing stage.
The Sami also offered a range of information on temperature dependent insects which experienced a change indicating the effects of climate change in the Arctic. For an instance, a drastic growth in the population of scarbaeid beetle has been noted to invade the forests of Finland and Norway.
Comprising 4 % to 5 % of the world population, natives occupy about a quarter of the land, managing about 11% of its forests. Thus, about 80% to 85% of the planet’s biodiversity is controlled by them. Being integrally associated as well as completely dependent upon nature to survive, natives are well aware of the rapid changes occurring in the remotest landscapes. The most common scenario is migration of species that replace the variant in another place, also termed as changes in biodiversity distribution. This gear them up with the most crucial knowledge of dealing with the raging irregularities.
Adopting Strategic Planning in Australia Taking Cue from Indigenous Tribes
Australia was taken aback when a wild forest fire back in 2009 gutted vast stretches and devastated the flora and fauna, killing around 173 while injuring more than 400. This encouraged officials to look back at the time period before 1789, to understand the mechanism adopted by the aborigines to build Australia which was not similar to what it is today.
They learnt to put a control on wild fires using fire stick farming. The natives are also known to use cool fires in order to control forest fire fuel, maintain diversity and nature’s bounty, balance species population as well as locate resources conveniently. In a way controlled fires were better in terms of distributing plants that are prone to fire. This in turn prepared preferential grazing grounds for animals making them easily trackable. Fire to clear land has been extremely helpful in improving hunting, enabling expansion of diversity and prey species.
Owing to their experience and vast knowledge, the land managers request the native’s insight to adopt time tested practices that leads to sustainability.
In fact, the Mesoamericans were also known to abide by sustainable practices that in a way helped preserve biodiversity in forest gardens in sync with the surroundings. The incredible diversity maintained in their domestic realm has been referred to as just an extension of the forest ecosystem.