Will You Compete to Mobilize Your Knowledge? Learning on Indigenous Biodiversity-led Adaptations among Native Communities of Eastern Himalayas, India

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Presenter:  Dr. Ranjay K. Singh, Ph. D. Endeavour Postdoctural Fellow (Charles Darwin University)

Date: Jun 16, 2015

Time: 2:30pm to 3:30pm

Contact person:  Katrina Britnell, Partnerships Coordinator, Northern Institute
T: 08 8946 6838
E: katrina.britnell@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Yellow Building 1, Level 2, Room 48 (Red Room), Northern Institute, Casuarina Campus, CDU


Dr Ranjay Singh - People. Policy. Place. Seminar 2015


World over, climate change and socio-economic stressors have posed grave threats to the biocultural diversity and livelihood security of many Indigenous and marginalized communities. Understanding the perceptions of these communities, who mostly live in risk-prone remote locations, about the climate variability induced alterations in their agro-ecosystems and the challenges posed by other stressors such as globalization and market distortions becomes important. These changes have not only increased their external dependency to access the essential livelihood support systems but have also reduced the resilience of their social-ecological systems.

In this deliberation, the focus is on the Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh (eastern Himalayas), India, who live in remote and fragile mountainous ecology and characterized by traditional social-ecological systems. This study used two novel participatory approaches namely ‘biodiversity contest’ and ‘recipe contest’ to mobilize the Adi community to record observations on issues related to climate variability and the Indigenous knowledge-led livelihood adaptations in changing scenarios. Results indicated that climate variability and other stressors are adversely affecting the local biodiversity and livelihoods of the Adi community. The study was further helpful in locating the processes and mechanisms which play a crucial role in resilient adaptive practices. Observations showed weak resilience in the livelihood support programmes, based on top-to-bottom policies and approaches (with poor governance), extended to the Adi by different government agencies. These programmes are not only incompatible with the existing socio-political milieu in the region, but are also causing further erosion in the already threatened social institutions and knowledge networks of Adi. Thus, it is increasing the difference between resilience and vulnerability (both climatic and socioeconomic). The study opened the pathways for working on co-production of knowledge on sustainable adaptive practices for further improving the social-ecological resilience of the native communities, such as Adi.

About Dr Singh

Dr Singh has recently begun a five month stay at Charles Darwin University based at Northern Institute.  He will be working as an Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellow (Climate Change Adaption) on a project entitled. “Farmers' Knowledge-led Adaptation to Climate Variability: Mainstreaming into Co-Production of Knowledge and Climate Change Adaptation Policy in India”.  The aim of this project is to develop a strategic framework for involving tribal and resource-poor farmers and researchers of India in the co-production of knowledge so that knowledge and innovation of such farmers can be mainstreamed into policies aimed at enhancing agricultural adaptation and sustainability. 

Dr Singh’s CDU research hosts are Professor Stephen Garnett, RIEL and Dr Kerstin Zander, Northern Institute respectively

Dr Singh hopes the study will provide an opportunity to collaborate with Australian scientists holding expertise on integrated adaptive practices led by Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Grassroots Innovations.


RSVP by Monday 15 June via Outlook or thenortherninstitute@cdu.edu.au

Afternoon tea will be provided

NOTE: This presentation is NOT to be used for citation but for academic learning and interaction with Dr Ranjay Singh only.  Please contact Dr Ranjay Singh directly to discuss further

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