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local ecological knowledge

Acronym: LEK

Definition Source References

Knowledge about nature, including organisms (animals and plants), ecosystems and ecological interactions, held by local people who interact with and use natural resources. This is a manifestation of indigenous local knowledge (ILK), but includes also knowledge held by those local people who may not be officially recognized as indigenous (in legal terms). Like traditional ecological knowledge, LEK can be seen as a knowledge-practice-belief complex. In other words, it is a cumulative body of knowledge, practice, and belief, evolving by adaptive processes and handed down through generations by cultural transmission (Berkes, 2012). This encompasses ways of knowing and doing, which are dynamic concepts relying on building on experience and adapting to changes, thereby imbibe a strong learning-by-doing component.

Sustainable use assessment Berkes, 2015