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Terry Williams, Preston Hardison
Year Published:
Julie Maldonado, Rajul E. Pandya, Benedict J. Colombi

Cataloging Information

Fire & Climate
Fire & Traditional Knowledge

NRFSN number: 16973
Record updated:

Traditional knowledge is increasingly recognized as valuable for adaptation to climate change, bringing scientists and indigenous peoples together to collaborate and exchange knowledge. These partnerships can benefit both researchers and indigenous peoples through mutual learning and mutual knowledge generation. Despite these benefits, most descriptions focus on the social contexts of exchange. The implications of the multiple cultural, legal, risk-benefit and governance contexts of knowledge exchange have been less recognized. The failure to consider these contexts of knowledge exchange can result in the promotion of benefits while failing to adequately address adverse consequences. The purpose of this article is to promote awareness of these issues to encourage their wider incorporation into research, policy, measures to implement free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) and the development of equitable adaptation partnerships between indigenous peoples and researchers.


Williams T, Hardison P. 2013. Culture, law, risk and governance: contexts of traditional knowledge in climate change adaptation. in Maldonado JK, Pandya RE, and Colombi BJ. eds. Special Issue on "Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Impacts, Experiences, and Actions". Climate Change 120:531–544.
DOI 10.1007/s10584-013-0850-0

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