The potential role of fisherwomen on the monitoring and assessment of mangrove change (Siberut Island, Indonesia)

Date and Time: 
Friday, 17 May, 2013 - 18:40 to 19:00
BURGOS, Ariadna - Laboratory of « Éco-anthropologie et Ethnobiologie » UMR 7206-CNRS, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.

Linking local knowledge and global science in multi-scale assessments can be valuable for monitoring and comparing environmental changes. Mangroves ecosystems can be considered early warnings of larger regime shifts: past studies have shown that mangroves are so specialized that minor variations in their sedimentary, hydrological or tidal regimes causes noticeable mortality. On the other hand, people who depend on mangroves for daily subsistence have developed cumulative and complex bodies of knowledge—know-how, practices and representations—through a history of interactions, adaptations and reliance on this ecosystem. In Siberut (Indonesia), fisherwomen were found to have detailed ecological knowledge of the mangrove environment and accurate knowledge of mangrove resource locations and anthropogenic use. This corpus of socio-ecological knowledge allows local women to assess past conditions and survey their environment day-to-day. This paper will assess the potential of such local ecological knowledge for use in ecological and climate change monitoring initiatives in the mangrove forest.

Key words: mangrove, fisherwomen, toponymy, local ecological knowledge, monitoring, climate change.