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Adaptation to Climate Change: Does Traditional Ecological Knowledge Hold the Key?

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Graduate School of Engineering and Science, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Saitama City, Saitama 337-8570, Japan
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Department of Planning, Architecture and Environmental Systems, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Saitama City, Saitama 337-8570, Japan
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Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai 81310, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020676
Received: 25 December 2019 / Revised: 11 January 2020 / Accepted: 15 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
The traditional knowledge of indigenous people is often neglected despite its significance in combating climate change. This study uncovers the potential of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) from the perspective of indigenous communities in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, and explores how TEK helps them to observe and respond to local climate change. Data were collected through interviews and field work observations and analysed using thematic analysis based on the TEK framework. The results indicated that these communities have observed a significant increase in temperature, with uncertain weather and seasons. Consequently, drought and wildfires have had a substantial impact on their livelihoods. However, they have responded to this by managing their customary land and resources to ensure food and resource security, which provides a respectable example of the sustainable management of terrestrial and inland ecosystems. The social networks and institutions of indigenous communities enable collective action which strengthens the reciprocal relationships that they rely on when calamity strikes. Accordingly, the communities maintain their TEK through cultural festivals and oral traditions passed from one generation to another. TEK is a practical tool that helps indigenous communities adapt to climate risks and promotes socio-ecological resilience, which upholds social empowerment and sustainable resource management. View Full-Text
Keywords: traditional ecological knowledge; traditional knowledge; local knowledge; indigenous knowledge; climate change; climate change adaptation; adaptation; resilience; socio-ecological systems; indigenous people traditional ecological knowledge; traditional knowledge; local knowledge; indigenous knowledge; climate change; climate change adaptation; adaptation; resilience; socio-ecological systems; indigenous people
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Hosen, N.; Nakamura, H.; Hamzah, A. Adaptation to Climate Change: Does Traditional Ecological Knowledge Hold the Key? Sustainability 2020, 12, 676.

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