Lecture in the DAAD Scholarship-holders meeting “The importance of integrating local knowledge in environmental research”

The German Academic Exchange Service organize meetings again this year for all DAAD scholarship holders who commenced their studies or research work in Germany in the winter semester 2016/17. In the course of these events, we had the chance to meet, share our experiences and make new contacts with some 600 other DAAD scholarship holders. Academic lectures and a cultural programme also took place during this weekend, and you will have the opportunity to personally meet DAAD representatives from the departments responsible for your scholarship.

I was selected with four colleagues from Uganda, Kenia, Tanzania and Ethiopia of our program to participate to the DAAD Scholarship-holders meeting in Magdeburg between 7 and 9 of July. The topic of this meeting was: “Research-Discover-Change”. It gathered bachelor, masters and PhD students of natural Sciences all over Germany and was hosted by Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg.

During the meeting, I had the opportunity to present a small lecture titled “The importance of integrating local knowledge in environmental research”. This lecture was focused on describe the main characteristics of local knowledge (indigenous, farmers and local stakeholders) about their natural environment and their relevance on modern environmental research. It begun with some definitions and concepts about local knowledge, scientific research and modern environmental research needs. Then it explained how the local knowledge could help to face modern challenges on environmental research. Finally present two case studies of Aymara People in Bolivia and Ifugao People in Philippines.

This opportunity gave me the chance to contact other people with the same interest of research. But even more important, it allow me to express and share the ideas based on my experience, finding a very stimulating discussion group with a lot of opinions, experiences and ideas from different countries and realities around the world. I am sure this kind of intellectual exchange will help us, as students, to have a better networking with colleagues all around Germany.

By Carlos Miguel Landivar

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