Talk 3: Traditional Ecological Knowledge - Reports from Indochina
by Yingshan Lau
Description: The blockbuster film Avatar won awards for its CGI-powered science fiction. But the tensions it portrayed between development and indigenous knowledge were far from fantasy. In this talk, Yingshan Lau, a volunteer with the Social Policy Ecology Research Institute (SPERI), a Vietnamese NGO, shares her experience working with ethnic minority/indigenous groups practicing substance agriculture. Her wide ranging talk will cover topics such as the the role of indigenous belief in ecological protection, the notion of sacred geography (things and places) in traditional practice, the conflicts between traditional practices and market economics, and the problem of romanticization of traditional ecological knowledge.
Speaker: Yingshan's relationship with Vietnam began in 2006 when she attended the Vietnam Field School as a student in the Australian National University. She is part of the Alumni Network of the Intensive Programme on Sustainability and believes that the Southeast Asian region is an important region to advance environmental sustainability.