Multi-Hazard Vulnerability and Resilience Building - Chapter 9: Integrating indigenous knowledge with science to suitably tackle disasters due to climate and environmental change: an overview of the progress and way forward

Elsevier, Multi-Hazard Vulnerability and Resilience Building: Cross Cutting Issues, 2023, Pages 127-143
Bosco Bwambale

Scholars and related institutions widely emphasize integrating indigenous knowledge with science to produce hybrid knowledge to suitably tackle disasters from climate and environmental hazards. Based on the case of hydrometeorological disasters, in which debates on incorporating indigenous knowledge are most cited, this chapter presents a review of key case studies on the progress made. It focuses on the (socio-)epistemic nature of indigenous knowledge and the frameworks being advanced on the best ways to integrate it with science. It is noted that indigenous people systematically learn from experience and concrete outcomes of their pragmatic practices to produce epistemic practices that enable them to reliably understand and tackle disasters. A trend is noted in the frameworks advanced to integrate indigenous knowledge with science: from content (where Indigenous people played a commentator role on strategies developed by scientists) to processes (where they are considered equal partners in knowledge production and development of strategies). Drawing on insights from this trend, the chapter concludes with a concise overview of the way forward: toward the development of a practical philosophy that elaborates elements from the Indigenous knowledge system for hybrid epistemologies from which actions can be developed for disaster risk reduction.