This book deals with the topic of traditional ecological knowledge specifically in the context of natural resource management. An issue of today is how humans can develop a more acceptable relationship with the environment that supports them. Growing interest in traditional ecological knowledge is perhaps indicative of two things: the need for ecological insights from indigenous practices of resource use; and the need to develop a new ecological ethic in part by learning from the wisdom of traditional knowledge holders. This book explores both of these ideas together by treating traditional ecological knowledge as a knowledge-practice-belief complex. This complex looks at traditional knowledge at four interrelated levels: local knowledge (species specific); the resource management system; social institutions; and worldview (religion, ethics, and defined belief systems). Divided into three parts that deal with concepts, practices and issues, respectively, the book examines many traditional knowledge systems. It discusses the usefulness of traditional ecological knowledge in terms of providing an understanding, not merely information, which is complementary to scientific ecology.
At the same time, the book explores a diversity of relationships that different groups have developed with their environment, using extensive case studies.