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Integrating hunter knowledge with community-based conservation in the Pamir Region of Tajikistan


Shokirov, Qobiljon; Backhaus, Norman (2020). Integrating hunter knowledge with community-based conservation in the Pamir Region of Tajikistan. Ecology and Society, 25(1):art1.

Abstract

Indigenous hunting communities around the world possess capabilities to accumulate and maintain knowledge based on their traditional practices, cultural norms, and belief systems. Case studies around the world have demonstrated that merging indigenous hunting knowledge with community-based conservation approaches is often complementary to biodiversity conservation. A combination of such approaches improves wildlife conservation practices and livelihood strategies while enhancing communities’ social-ecological resilience. However, if mismanaged, such approaches lead to negative results in the community, such as an increased exposure/vulnerability to corruption, power inequality among interest groups, as well as mismanagement of wildlife species. We explore the existence of hunting-specific traditional ecological knowledge and the contribution of such knowledge to wildlife management in the case of community-based conservation in Tajikistan. We reviewed hunting-related literature from 1850 to 1950, conducted interviews, and accompanied hunters in the field to document their ecological knowledge of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), also known as the Pamir region of Tajikistan. Throughout our research, we found that there exists a rich body of hunter-specific ecological knowledge of hunting norms, ethics, taboos, and belief systems in the Pamir region of Tajikistan. Traditional hunters largely accepted a community-based conservation approach because it resonates with their subsistence hunting practices. Also, combining traditional hunter knowledge with a community-based conservation approach created an opportunity for knowledge sharing, improved the quality of scientific wildlife surveys, and led to better collaboration among conservancies and other conservation NGOs. More importantly, such approaches empowered and incentivized local traditional hunters to take responsibility for wildlife management.

Abstract

Indigenous hunting communities around the world possess capabilities to accumulate and maintain knowledge based on their traditional practices, cultural norms, and belief systems. Case studies around the world have demonstrated that merging indigenous hunting knowledge with community-based conservation approaches is often complementary to biodiversity conservation. A combination of such approaches improves wildlife conservation practices and livelihood strategies while enhancing communities’ social-ecological resilience. However, if mismanaged, such approaches lead to negative results in the community, such as an increased exposure/vulnerability to corruption, power inequality among interest groups, as well as mismanagement of wildlife species. We explore the existence of hunting-specific traditional ecological knowledge and the contribution of such knowledge to wildlife management in the case of community-based conservation in Tajikistan. We reviewed hunting-related literature from 1850 to 1950, conducted interviews, and accompanied hunters in the field to document their ecological knowledge of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), also known as the Pamir region of Tajikistan. Throughout our research, we found that there exists a rich body of hunter-specific ecological knowledge of hunting norms, ethics, taboos, and belief systems in the Pamir region of Tajikistan. Traditional hunters largely accepted a community-based conservation approach because it resonates with their subsistence hunting practices. Also, combining traditional hunter knowledge with a community-based conservation approach created an opportunity for knowledge sharing, improved the quality of scientific wildlife surveys, and led to better collaboration among conservancies and other conservation NGOs. More importantly, such approaches empowered and incentivized local traditional hunters to take responsibility for wildlife management.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Ecology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology
Language:English
Date:1 January 2020
Deposited On:24 Apr 2020 07:42
Last Modified:03 Sep 2020 08:54
Publisher:The Resilience Alliance
ISSN:1708-3087
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5751/es-11253-250101

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