Pathways to integrate Indigenous and local knowledge in ocean governance processes: Lessons from the Algoa Bay Project, South Africa

By Nina Rivers (et al)

“The Introduction of this paper argues that current coastal and ocean management approaches like marine spatial planning (MSP) often do not adequately acknowledge and integrate Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK). This is problematic because how humans value and perceive coastal and marine resources is integrally linked to how they use and manage these resources, especially in adapting to social-ecological change.

Coastal and marine resources are situated within complex social-ecological systems that are culturally, economically, historically and politically embedded. Therefore, management approaches have to integrate transdisciplinary and contextual perspectives in order to be relevant, sustainable and adaptive. Following extensive research in Algoa Bay, South Africa this article highlights several pathways to bridge the gap between existing ILK and current coastal and ocean management approaches. The Methods section discusses how the authors worked in tandem with a bottom-up (engaging with Indigenous and local coastal and marine resource users) and top-down (engaging with coastal governance authorities and practitioners) approach….”

Photo by: Gavin Rishworth