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What is TEK/LEK?
Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) can be defined as a cumulative body of knowledge and beliefs handed down through generations by cultural transmission about the relationship of living beings (including humans) with one another and with their environment.

It is usually considered an attribute of societies with historical (and I would add prehistorical) continuity in resource use practices; by and large, these societies being non-industrial or less technologically advanced, many of them indigenous or tribal (Berkes 1993:3).

Traditional Ecological Knowlege vs Scientific Ecological Knowledge
Traditional Ecological Knowlege Scientific Ecological Knowledge
purely rational
mind and matter considered together
mind and matter considered apart
value free
based on empirical observations and accumulation of facts by trial and error
systematic, experimental
data generated by resource users themselves
researchers only
based on long-time series information on one locality
short-time series over a large area

Berkes goes on to tell us that TEK is imbued with symbolic meaning and spiritual connections based on reciprocity and obligations to both community members and others—encapsulated in a conceptualization of the environment that is different from Western science (1993:3).

Much like TEK, Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK) is based on long-time series information on lone locality vs. short-time series information over a large area. For this reason, TEK/LEK can contribute substantially to resource management plans.

Local knowledge about forest-related phenomena makes sense, both for local forest users and for those who appreciate cultural wisdom, its skillful socio-cultural performance from a perspective of scientific interest, environmental concern, and bearing responsibility for a renewable resource that matters to the future of humankind (Seeland 1997:101). As Seeland notes, indigenous knowledge of forests unites aspects of nature and culture which are both local and global concern.

In short an inclusion of TEK/LEK has much to offer in the way of science. Consequently the primary goal of this project is to link local ecological values and knowledge with community appropriate policies. This report stresses the need for a policy framework of forest management that embraces TEK/LEK.

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The Resource

History of Forest Use

Timber Allocation Process

Recent Changes in Forest Plan

Logging and Effects on Ecosystem

Emerging Alternatives

What is TEK/LEK

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