Understanding Linkages Between Sustainability and Traditional Ethnoecological Knowledge (TEK): A Case Study of Paudi Bhuyans in Northern Odisha, India
Studies based on Traditional Ethnoecological Knowledge (TEK) systems help in development of critical, evaluative, and creative thinkin skillgs, so as to aid policy decisions around sustainable solutions. Sustainable development framework outlined under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) presents an opportunity to experiment and evolve pathways promoting resource efficiency measures that hold a hope for a better tomorrow. A systematic study of ancient wisdom embedded in indigenous communities is a step in this direction, and this chapter explores lifestyles of populations of Paudi Bhuyans, a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) living in northern parts of Odisha. Variations in the resource use practices are also described in detail. Socio-ecological uncertainties due to changes in land use patterns, habitat fragmentation, and other forces have influenced members of Paudi Bhuyan tribe to move from hills to plains triggering a slow erosion of their ethnicity. The chapter also advocates a need to study ethnoecological knowledge of Paudi Bhuyan tribe as a step towards achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs), and also highlights unique relationships between Paudi Bhuyan populations and their natural settings. Both tribal and non-tribal communities in the study location were included for collection of information through participatory rural appraisals (PRA), interview schedules and semi-structured and open-ended questionnaires. The chapter concludes with a need to consider that Indigenous Development Goals (IDG) may be adopted as a new mantra for sustainable development. Both tribal and non-tribal communities in the study location were included for collection of information through participatory rural appraisals (PRA), interview schedules, and semi-structured and open-ended questionnaires.