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      Global trends of local ecological knowledge and future implications

      1 , 2 , * , 1 , 2 , 3 , 1

      PLoS ONE

      Public Library of Science

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          Abstract

          Local and indigenous knowledge is being transformed globally, particularly being eroded when pertaining to ecology. In many parts of the world, rural and indigenous communities are facing tremendous cultural, economic and environmental changes, which contribute to weaken their local knowledge base. In the face of profound and ongoing environmental changes, both cultural and biological diversity are likely to be severely impacted as well as local resilience capacities from this loss. In this global literature review, we analyse the drivers of various types of local and indigenous ecological knowledge transformation and assess the directionality of the reported change. Results of this analysis show a global impoverishment of local and indigenous knowledge with 77% of papers reporting the loss of knowledge driven by globalization, modernization, and market integration. The recording of this loss, however, is not symmetrical, with losses being recorded more strongly in medicinal and ethnobotanical knowledge. Persistence of knowledge (15% of the studies) occurred in studies where traditional practices were being maintained consiously and where hybrid knowledge was being produced as a resut of certain types of incentives created by economic development. This review provides some insights into local and indigenous ecological knowledge change, its causes and implications, and recommends venues for the development of replicable and comparative research. The larger implication of these results is that because of the interconnection between cultural and biological diversity, the loss of local and indigenous knowledge is likely to critically threaten effective conservation of biodiversity, particularly in community-based conservation local efforts.

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          Most cited references 89

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          Biodiversity Loss Threatens Human Well-Being

          Biodiversity lies at the core of ecosystem processes fueling our planet's vital life-support systems; its degradation--by us--is threatening our own well-being and will disproportionately impact the poor.
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            LINGUISTIC, CULTURAL, AND BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

             Luisa Maffi (2005)
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              Parallel extinction risk and global distribution of languages and species.

              There are global threats to biodiversity with current extinction rates well above background levels. Although less well publicized, numerous human languages have also become extinct, and others are threatened with extinction. However, estimates of the number of threatened languages vary considerably owing to the wide range of criteria used. For example, languages have been classified as threatened if the number of speakers is less than 100, 500, 1,000, 10,000, 20,000 or 100,000 (ref. 3). Here I show, by applying internationally agreed criteria for classifying species extinction risk, that languages are more threatened than birds or mammals. Rare languages are more likely to show evidence of decline than commoner ones. Areas with high language diversity also have high bird and mammal diversity and all three show similar relationships to area, latitude, area of forest and, for languages and birds, maximum altitude. The time of human settlement has little effect on current language diversity. Although similar factors explain the diversity of languages and biodiversity, the factors explaining extinction risk for birds and mammals (high altitude, high human densities and insularity) do not explain the numbers of endangered languages.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Funding acquisitionRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                5 April 2018
                2018
                : 13
                : 4
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Sciences, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
                [2 ] Department of Anthropology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
                [3 ] UMR Espace-Dev 228, IRD, Reunion Island, France
                Michigan State University, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-17-29289
                10.1371/journal.pone.0195440
                5886557
                29621311
                © 2018 Aswani et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 1, Pages: 19
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: Sandisa Imbewu-Rhodes University
                Award Recipient :
                We thank the South African National Research Foundation (incentive funding for rated researchers) and Rhodes University for funding this research. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Ecology
                Biodiversity
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Ecology
                Biodiversity
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Conservation Science
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Culture
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Eukaryota
                Plants
                Medicinal Plants
                Social Sciences
                Anthropology
                Cultural Anthropology
                Ethnobotany
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Plant Science
                Ethnobotany
                Social Sciences
                Anthropology
                Indigenous Populations
                People and Places
                Demography
                Indigenous Populations
                Earth Sciences
                Atmospheric Science
                Climatology
                Climate Change
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Agriculture
                Custom metadata
                All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

                Uncategorized

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