Traditional Ecological Knowledge in ConservationResearch: Problems and Prospects for theirConstructive Engagement
Janna M. Shackeroff and Lisa M. Campbell
In response to growing interest in accessing traditional ecologicalknowledge (TEK) for conservation purposes, we discuss some of the complexi-ties involved in doing TEK research. Specifically, we consider the issues of power and politicisation, ethics and situated knowledge. These are standard issues to be considered in any social scientific endeavour and are particularlycompelling when dealing with indigenous groups or cross-cultural contexts.We argue that the human context, and the researcher’s ability to adequatelyunderstand and account for it, will largely determine the success or failure of TEK research. To this end, we offer three broad recommendations for conser-vation researchers hoping to engage TEK. Only through an informed and conscientious approach can TEK be incorporated into mainstream conserva-tion research in a manner beneficial to both conservation and TEK holders.
traditional ecological knowledge, cross-cultural research, indige-nous research, power, ethics, situated knowledge, marine conservation biology
are approaching traditional ecological knowl-edge (TEK) with increased alacrity (Drew 2005; Drew & Henne 2006; Fraseret al. 2006), recognising its potential contributions to both understand-
Janna M. Shackeroff
Lisa M. Campbell,
Duke University Marine Lab, Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, 135 Duke Marine Lab Road, Beaufort,NC 28516, USA.
Address for Correspondence
Janna M. Shackeroff, Duke University Marine Lab, 135 Duke Marine Lab Road, Beaufort, NC28516, USA.
Conservation and Society,
Volume 5, No. 3, 2007
Copyright: © Shackeroff and Campbell 2007. This is an open access article distributed under the termsof the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and distribution of thearticle, provided the original work is cited.