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Culture, law, risk and governance: contexts of traditional knowledge in climate change adaptation


  • Terry Williams
  • Preston Hardison



Traditional knowledge is increasingly recognized as valuable for adaptation to climate change, bringing scientists and indigenous peoples together to collaborate and exchange knowledge. These partnerships can benefit both researchers and indigenous peoples through mutual learning and mutual knowledge generation. Despite these benefits, most descriptions focus on the social contexts of exchange. The implications of the multiple cultural, legal, risk-benefit and governance contexts of knowledge exchange have been less recognized. The failure to consider these contexts of knowledge exchange can result in the promotion of benefits while failing to adequately address adverse consequences. The purpose of this article is to promote awareness of these issues to encourage their wider incorporation into research, policy, measures to implement free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) and the development of equitable adaptation partnerships between indigenous peoples and researchers. Copyright The Author(s) 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Terry Williams & Preston Hardison, 2013. "Culture, law, risk and governance: contexts of traditional knowledge in climate change adaptation," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 120(3), pages 531-544, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:120:y:2013:i:3:p:531-544
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-013-0850-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. World Bank & Food and Agriculture Organization & International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2009. "Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook
      [Agricultura y desarrollo rural : manual sobre género en agricultura]
      ," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6603.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jianchu Xu & R. Grumbine, 2014. "Integrating local hybrid knowledge and state support for climate change adaptation in the Asian Highlands," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 93-104, May.
    2. M. Brugnach & M. Craps & A. Dewulf, 2017. "Including indigenous peoples in climate change mitigation: addressing issues of scale, knowledge and power," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 19-32, January.
    3. repec:spr:ieaple:v:18:y:2018:i:6:d:10.1007_s10784-018-9415-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9851-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Nabajit Hazarika & Tanuj Tayeng & Apurba Kumar Das, 2016. "Living in troubled waters: stakeholders’ perception, susceptibility and adaptations to flooding in the Upper Brahmaputra plain," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 83(2), pages 1157-1176, September.
    6. Suman Aryal & Geoff Cockfield & Tek Maraseni, 2014. "Vulnerability of Himalayan transhumant communities to climate change," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 125(2), pages 193-208, July.
    7. Lisa Hiwasaki & Emmanuel Luna & Syamsidik & José Marçal, 2015. "Local and indigenous knowledge on climate-related hazards of coastal and small island communities in Southeast Asia," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 35-56, January.

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