Semi-traditional ecological knowledge in Europe: the case of wood-pasture management in Hungary

Date and Time: 
Friday, 17 May, 2013 - 13:30 to 13:50
VARGA, Anna - University of Pécs, Hungary
Zsolt MOLNÁR - MTA Centre for Ecological Research

The management of open-woodland habitats has a long history in Hungary. However, beginning with the Enlightenment this silvopastoral management has been vanishing. Today most of the remnant wood-pastures lie  in nature protected areas and they are managed by the national park’s on-ground managers. Our question was: what kind of knowledge traditional herders and the new managers have on wood-pastures and their management. We made semi-structured interviews and did participatory observations in oak-beech wood-pastures. The main differences we found between herders’ and managers’ knolwledge were the aim of management and the definition of wood-pastures . These differences were, however, much smaller if managers weare open for traditional management and had their own experiences in animal husbandry. In these cases Ttheir knowledge was a transitional knowledge we called semi-traditional. Our results showed, that traditional and academic ecological knowledge have a functional interaction in Central-Europe.