Indigenous knowledge for sustainable livelihoods: Lessons from ecological pest control and post-harvest techniques of Baduy (West Java) and Nguni (Southern Africa)

Leeja C. Korina, Alexis Habiyaremye

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


With the impending threat of global climate change, the last decades have witnessed an increasing recognition of the potential contribution of indigenous knowledge to tackling global challenges of environmental sustainability. The sources and wisdom of indigenous knowledge have however much more to contribute to global knowledge, well beyond environment conservation and traditional medicine. This paper uses the examples of swidden cultivation, pest control and rice preservation techniques of the Baduy in West Java (Indonesia) and comparable grain pits utilisation by Nguni tribes in Southern Africa to discuss how indigenous sources of knowledge can be an inspiration for greater social cohesion and sustainable livelihoods. It also draws lessons showing that combining indigenous knowledge systems with modern scientific methods can make it possible to achieve results that neither system can do alone.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUNU-MERIT working papers
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2017

JEL classifications

  • o13 - "Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products"
  • f64 - Globalization: Environment
  • q15 - "Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment"
  • q57 - "Ecological Economics: Ecosystem Services; Biodiversity Conservation; Bioeconomics; Industrial Ecology"


  • indigenous knowledge systems
  • sustainable livelihoods
  • Baduy community
  • Nguni tribes grain pits

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