Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Contribution:

Local people, primatology, great apes, and conservation policy - narratives about knowledges and ecologie  
Eliane Sebeika Rapchan (University of Coimbra)

Short abstract:

Anthropogenic effects impact both humans and African great apes that share territories. Paper focuses on anthropological and primatological narratives and potential combination of local and scientific knowledges in gorilla conservation considering their distinct epistemologies and ontologies.

Long abstract:

A deep history links human peoples and African great apes which includes modern colonialism and its ecosocial consequences. Anthropogenic effects impact territories they share. In the 19th century, Western first contacts with gorillas only occurred with the help of African people.

Paper focuses on anthropological and primatological narratives and the potential combination of these knowledges in gorilla conservation considering their distinct epistemologies and ontologies.

African great apes are among threatened species and a portion of them live in sanctuaries that are often guided only by primatological knowledge. Thus, frequently local and traditional knowledge and also medical and hunting techniques, taboos about eating gorilla meat, beliefs about human soul transition to gorilla’s body and myths related to kinship between humans and other primates are ignored in conservation. The consequence is that local communities do not trust these actions because they perceive that protecting gorillas is subject to an international agenda that denotes epistemological injustice. However, there are exceptions, for example Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary in Cameroon.

Still, global primatological research indicates that endangered primates are best protected in areas where knowledge systems and indigenous peoples' rights over lands and resources are secure. This indicates the effectiveness of community participation in conservation.

However, this participation also includes the recognition of the value of epistemologies and ontologies that consider, for example, the legitimacy of the transition of souls and kinship between humans and gorillas. The challenge here is to combine ways of thinking and living radically distinct from western rationalism with primatological scientific thought.

Combined Format Open Panel P380
Knowledges of ecology and ecologies of knowledge
  Session 1 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -