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Call for WSSD to embrace knowledge diversity

Delegates at the World summit on sustainable development (WSSD) in Johannesburg have been told that indigenous knowledge and science are complementary disciplines, and that the WSSD should promote partnerships that recognise these links. Speaking at a session on cross sectora...

Delegates at the World summit on sustainable development (WSSD) in Johannesburg have been told that indigenous knowledge and science are complementary disciplines, and that the WSSD should promote partnerships that recognise these links. Speaking at a session on cross sectoral cooperation, Joji Cariño from the Tebtebba Foundation, a centre for indigenous peoples' policy research and education in the Philippines, called on the WSSD to 'develop partnerships that take seriously the complementarity between science and traditional knowledge.' Cariño urged decision makers to acknowledge the diverse contributions of both indigenous and scientific knowledge. Providing that the necessary mechanisms and tools are made available, 'very good cooperation based on real respect and learning from each other can actually take place', she said. She also emphasised, however, that much work is still required. 'It is clear that many of our institutions are not equipped to deal with this diversity of information,' she said.