Traditional Ecological Knowledge and its role in building Socio-Ecological Resilience in the context of displaced communities

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Name: Temuul Munkhtur
Major: Environmental Studies
Advisor: Carlo Moreno

For my project, I decided to make Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) the focus of my study. TEK, in simplest terms, is the accumulated knowledge about your surroundings and the relationship dynamics between the nature and human. TEK is often associated with isolated communities occupying marginal lands; it is developed over generations, building on the previous knowledge, and becoming specific to their environment. TEK is also a huge contributor to the social and ecological resilience of self- sustaining communities. The concept of resilience is applied in many fields, but it is generally defined as one’s ability to withstand and recover from disturbances. For example, government led community displacements could upend individuals’ means of livelihoods and thus, having a well-established community wide resilience is a must. Given the potency of TEK at building resilience at traditional sites, I wanted to look at people who previously resided in a community with a specifically developed TEKs that are now living in new locations. By looking at the specific roles and the ways TEK contribute to the resiliency of communities, I wanted to encourage further studies on traditional and sustainable methods for fighting climate change and managing resources for small communities. One of the most exciting patterns I found was that of community housing. Community housing, whether it be in the isolated village in Vietnam or Nebraska, Lincoln, was the ground for knowledge exchange and innovation. Cooperation with external entities, such as Government initiated unions, scientific body of U.N, and NGOs, was another common resilience building strategy. Although they do not exactly identify as TEKs, they are considered local knowledge, the beginning stages of TEK. Overall, my findings could help other settlements, communities, and organizations with their ability to build resiliency efficiently.

Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2023 on April 14, 2023.

One response to “Traditional Ecological Knowledge and its role in building Socio-Ecological Resilience in the context of displaced communities”

  1. Shelley Judge says:

    Great job, Temuul. Your I.S. topics sounds so interesting. You should be proud of yourself.