Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Tamil Nadu Fisher folks: to Combat the Impact of Climate and Weather Variability

Salim, Shyam S; S, Monolisha

Abstract

This study explores the significant role of indigenous traditional ecological knowledge (ITEK) in weather forecast prediction and fishing related activities in the coastal villages of Tamil Nadu. In total, 33 rural coastal villages were studied for different uses of ecological indicators in seasonal predictions based on oceanographic parameters, hydro-geological,
astrophysical, meteorological and biological conditions. We focused on oral dialects from traditional fishing practitioners, local community leaders and fishers as efficient respondents to carry out the study. In addition, we also attempted to develop a template of seasonal ecological calendar based on ecological indicators of Tamil Nadu coastline. This conceptualisation can also be absorbed on a synoptic scale as an integration framework of ITEK and scientific innovations. On the other perspective, it is so factual that adaptation of ITEKs in the current decades is in verge of extinction due to several factors such as modernization, technological advancements and waning intergenerational knowledge transmissions. In the face of losing ITEKs, it is crucial to integrate ITEKs in the scientific seasonal forecasting of environmental changes and climatic events to facilitate better decision making policies on adaptation and mitigation strategies. It is highly essential to build the concept of conservation and documentation of ITEK to solve the climate crisis and effective decision making. In the recent years, the approach of integrating biophysical and social sciences on understanding earth science is an emerging concept to enhance climate knowledge. Application and integration of ITEKs with scientific ecological modelling systems possess tremendous potential to develop accurate scientific forecasts and reliable future predictions.

Keyword(s)

Forecast; Indicators; Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge; Integration; Tamil Nadu; Weather

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