Indigenous Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction

Cover Good-practices-indigenous.inddThis publication presents a collection of 18 indigenous practices which were developed over time in the communities in the Asia-Pacific region. Types of disasters include earthquake, cyclone (typhoon), drought, landslides, river bank erosion, tsunami and zud. The cases were chosen based on the following criteria: origin of the knowledge, its relative level of adaptation over time, its relationship to local skills and materials, its success in surviving or coping with disasters over time, and its applicability to other societies facing similar situations. This publication aims to build awareness for indigenous knowledge as an effective tool for reducing risk from natural disasters.

Development research tells us that the success and the sustainability of interventions at the community level depend, among a number of factors, on the availability of relevant local culture, knowledge and indigenous practices that can combine with new ideas to generate innovation. The importance of indigenous knowledge contributes not only to the success of intervention, but more importantly to its sustainability in the longer term. Considering the participation and integration of these communities in all disaster-related processes as a necessary means for pursuing the Hyogo Framework for Action highlights the importance of indigenous knowledge in assisting to mainstream disaster risk reduction policies and practice.

Philippine specific chapters include:

  • Combining Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge in the Dagupan City Flood Warning System by Lorna P. Victoria
  • Indigenous Know-How on Mayon Volcano’s Lava-Spittle Mysticism by Gerardine Cerdena
  • Shaped by Wind and Typhoon: The Indigenous Knowledge of the Ivatans in the Batanes Islands, Philippines by Noralene Uy and Rajib Shaw

Published by: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Date published: July 2008
Publication type: Publication — Download PDF
Pages: 84

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