Environmental Conservation: Espousing Indigenous Knowledge System as a Model for Caring for the Earth
The earth is presently experiencing dramatic changes in both social and physical environments; consequent upon this, the
human race is faced with grave environmental problems and challenges. Towards the resolution of these grave environmental problems,
indigenous knowledge has been cited as an important approach for shaping value, orientations, social action and in mobilizing people
(including indigenous peoples), to be interested in our environment, to learn about it as well as taking action to protect and preserve it.
This is because indigenous people and their communities have an historical relationship with their lands and are generally descendants
of the original inhabitants of such lands. As a result, they have developed over many generations a broad knowledge of how to live
sustainably. In this paper, efforts are made to establish the potentials of indigenous ways of knowledge as a coherent and potent
approach towards promoting sustainable living and environmental sustainability. The article also points out that traditional ecological
knowledge or local indigenous environmental knowledge is capable of bringing forth a rich legacy of intergenerational and contextual
knowing which have proved invaluable in the management of environment for many centuries before colonial period, as well as learning
about not only the earth but also of the cosmos. On the other hand, this paper argues that the difficulty in adequately addressing
environmental degradation, unsustainable means of production and living stems from the anthropocentric nature of sustainable
development and preference for modernist, ethnocentric (Euro-centric) paradigms for acceptable knowledge and practice (Coates, Gray,
& Hetherington, 2006). This article disagrees with the notion that adaptation to the rapid environmental challenges like climate change,
specie and biodiversity loss, desertification and their adaptation will evolve through trial error.
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