Indigenous Knowledge: The Key To Environmental Sustainability.

754 words - 4 pages

A sustainable interaction with our environment plays a key role for the future of our species. Throughout the course of human history various cultures have independently developed their own views on nature. Traditionally, many of these beliefs shared common structures at the fundamental level but would vary slightly in the way each group interacted with their environment. Through comparing these interactions with nature the solution becomes evident. Traditional and scientific approaches must collaborate together to ensure the protection of our environment.

Modern Europe’s approach to the environment has been steered by Western scientific knowledge. In comparison to indigenous views on ...view middle of the document...

Although, while it is true that indigenous people are often represented as having a harmonious relationship with nature, this is not always the case. A look though history points to various indigenous cultures that have collapsed after exhausting their surrounding resources (Diamond 2005). However, these trial and error approaches are critical for refining the interaction and often lead to a more sustainable structure. This has resulted in modern indigenous groups been able to pick up on, and adjust to small environmental changes (Cochran 2006). Thus, the existing healthy ecologically traditional structures today provide a wealth of knowledge.

The arrival of Europeans to Australia brought with them their knowledge of environment. The application of this knowledge outside of its original cultural context resulted in large unexpected results. The clearing of large areas of native bushland for agricultural proposes is one excellent example that has had drastic consequences. One direct implication of this land clearing resulted in a rising of the water table bringing with it deadly salts. These current levels of salinity have rendered farming land of over 5.7 million hectares totally useless (Sherwin 2001). Not only is the amount of unusable land expected to grow exponentially, the clearing of it has indirectly causes various other ripple effects on Australia’s fragile ecosystem (Ford 2011).

The application of reductionist methods...

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