Perceptions and Revitalization of Local Ecological Knowledge in Four Schools in Yasin Valley, North Pakistan

Abdul Aziz, Muhammad and Volpato, Gabriele and Filippo Fontefrancesco, Michele and Pieroni, Andrea (2022) Perceptions and Revitalization of Local Ecological Knowledge in Four Schools in Yasin Valley, North Pakistan. Mountain Research and Development, 42 (4).

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Mountains are often recognized as sites of biocultural diversity, and local ecological knowledge (LEK) is an integral part of community life. Rapid cultural standardization and urbanization have threatened biocultural diversity, posing threats to LEK in mountain areas. The current study aimed to gather data on the status of LEK in the Yasin Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, and discuss options with the local population for revitalizing LEK in future educational programs. We explored the perceptions of local communities on the importance of LEK and its possible revitalization and transmission in the school curriculum. Data were collected from students, teachers, and local knowledge holders in 4 schools located in the valley. In the area, LEK is considered an important part of the local biocultural heritage, playing a potential role in socioenvironmental sustainability, but we observed a lack of intergenerational transmission of LEK, using LEK of wild food plants as a proxy. Participants confirmed that the existing environmental and food education does not cover the local cultural ecologies, and thus the prevailing centralized curriculum system has isolated students from learning LEK. Preliminary interactions with participants did not reveal any opinions on the transmission of LEK through teaching–learning processes. During group discussions, however, we discovered some potential strategies that could help in the revitalization of LEK in schools, such as study trips, traditional food day celebrations, developing herbaria, art competitions, and the introduction of food scouting. More importantly, place-based education, connected to the local biocultural heritage, could provide a useful foundation for the intergenerational transmission of LEK. Therefore, on the basis of our case study, we appeal to local policymakers to pay attention to the erosion of LEK and ask that it be given space in future development programs to achieve sustainable development and help mountain communities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: biocultural heritage; mountain communities; scientific knowledge; place-based education; Nalla.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
L Education > L Education (General)
Depositing User: ePrints deposit
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2023 12:36
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2023 12:36

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