Holistic, respectful and sustainable ways to the future: Student Conference on Conservation Science in Bengaluru (2017) – Karnataka

The importance of hearing stories from the other side, of voices not heard

Pankaj Sekhsaria | Read the full story >>

[During his presentation at the Student Conference on Conservation Science in Bengaluru in September] Madhu Ramnath, a researcher and author […] shared anecdotes and lessons he learnt from decades of living with the Durwa community in the heart of Bastar. He spoke about life in a conflict zone and asked what “conservation in a conflict zone” would be like. The Eastern Ghats, he said, have been hugely neglected by the scientific and conservation community even though they are rich in biological diversity and tribal cultures. He was not blindly romancing or glorifying the tribal way, but his was a plea to understand their lives through their experiences and knowledge systems. This was another voice for and from the other side, urging humility on one’s part and respect and recognition for the other. […]

Skill, knowledge and livelihoods have multiple meanings. The articulation of the ploughman and carpenter as “unskilled” is evidence of the limitations (and perhaps arrogance) of modern science and economics in understanding and describing our world. Mr. Foster and Mr. Ramnath (and the octopus and the tribal) offer us alternative windows into different ways of making meaning. These are more holistic, respectful and sustainable ways to the future and if we ignore them, we do so at our own peril.

Pankaj Sekhsaria researches issues at the intersection of environment, science, society and technology

Source & date: The wisdom of an octopus, The Hindu, NOVEMBER 13, 2017
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-wisdom-of-an-octopus/article20352852.ece
Date Visited: 18 November 2017

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