Landscape, memory and learning to change in changing worlds: Contemplating intergenerational learning and traditional knowledge practices within social-ecological landscapes of change

O’Donoghue, Rob, Sandoval-Rivera, Juan Carlos A. and Payyappallimana, Unnikrishnan, (2019). Landscape, memory and learning to change in changing worlds: Contemplating intergenerational learning and traditional knowledge practices within social-ecological landscapes of change. Southern African Journal of Environmental Education, 35 1-34

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author O’Donoghue, Rob
    Sandoval-Rivera, Juan Carlos A.
    Payyappallimana, Unnikrishnan
    Title Landscape, memory and learning to change in changing worlds: Contemplating intergenerational learning and traditional knowledge practices within social-ecological landscapes of change
    Appearing in Southern African Journal of Environmental Education
    Volume 35
    Publication Date 2019-06-01
    Place of Publication Rhodes University, South Africa
    Publisher Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa
    Start page 1
    End page 34
    Language eng
    Abstract This study contemplates the interweaving of knowledge practices within social-ecological landscapes of change. In doing so, it takes a position that indigenous peoples should not be too readily enticed into being identified as traditional custodians of nature within Western ecological abstractions when they have their own histories as intergenerational creators of, and curators in, mosaic landscapes of bio-cultural diversity. The review explores how traditional social-ecological knowledge has seldom been explored as integrated within seasonal cycles or as ecologies of knowledge1 that have shaped social-ecological landscapes in diverse bio-cultural regions. Here, key aspects of the intergenerational cultures embedded in long-term sustainability practices have shaped and sustained social-ecological landscapes into the era of modern capital. The paper that follows proposes that exploring the intergenerational knowledge practices implicit in local cultural landscapes can be a key positive dimension for shaping learning-led change in a modern era of widening environmental degradation and biodiversity loss. Five short case study papers are coupled with this study. They reflect some of the dimensions of intergenerational ecologies of knowledge that are evident within bio-cultural mosaic landscapes in: 1. Mexico (Zongolica, Sierra Grandes Montañas – milpa); 2. Zambia (Miombo Woodland – chitemene); 3. South Africa (Zululand savannah grasslands – Nguni cattle); 4. India (Western Ghats monsoon forests – sacred grove rice-lands); 5. Sweden (Vattern Scarp – meadow pastures). The narratives were compiled as brief case studies at the intergenerational landscape level in each of the countries. Each case narrative is situated with a photograph of the macro landscape and with a photo of the intergenerational heritage practices that have had shaping effects within the social-ecological landscape in question. The case materials point to insights that have the potential to enable restorative and re imagining possibilities for future sustainability. The short case studies locate people and their intergenerational practices in relation to modern landscapes of change. Here the writers reside as dialogical partners working in more inclusive and reflexive learning-led change. Some dimensions of the intergenerational practices that have been sustainable over past generations have been implicated in modern patterns of change that have become drivers of environmental degradation in the modern era. Here much of the indigenous common sense is commonly overlooked. The case studies are intended to open up and refine social-ecological insights in relation to the complex intergenerational relational dynamics amongst cultures and landscapes. What could be legitimately asked is to what extent some kind of ‘practical’ abstraction, conceived of as a strategy of generalisability and an experience of interconnectedness, is actually needed for emancipatory anti-capitalist politics to counter the divisive and singularizing instances that proliferate in the camp of the oppressed. (Muscat, 2011:43)
    Copyright Holder Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa
    Copyright Year 2019
    Copyright type Creative commons
    ISSN 2411-5959
    DOI 10.4314/sajee.v35i1.10
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    Created: Fri, 09 Aug 2019, 16:46:55 JST by Nur Madihah Mat Latip on behalf of UNU IIGH