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TKWB

TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE WORLD BANK

www.tkwb.org Under the patronage of: PROVINCE OF FLORENCE

IPOGEA

MUNICIPALITY OF FLORENCE

ITALIAN MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND PROTECTION OF TERRITORY ITALIAN COMMITEE TO COMBAT DROUGHT AND DESERTIFICATION


The present publication aims at setting up a global network of traditional knowledge surveyors. It is distributed free of charge at the Nairobi 7th Session Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and at next international meetings. It shows the activity in progress and illustrates the structure and the way of cataloguing traditional knowledge. Those who wish to join the initiative and contribute to building up the knowledge base can enter information on traditional knowledge remotely through the expert system to www.tkwb.org or send an e-mail to ipogea@ipogea.org. Further information is INDEX available on the sites www.tkwb.org and www.ipogea.org 1. THE TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE WORLD BANK (TKWB) and on the enclosed CD. FOR SAFEGUARDING ECOSYSTEMS AND PLANNING A The system will be 3 SUSTAINABLE FUTURE constantly Traditional knowledge enabled to build exceptional sites and updated with cultural landscapes over time new knowledge supplied The TKWB, an inventory for the protection and dissemination of traditional knowledge by the world The TKWB promotes innovation: Today's appropriate innovations are Network. tomorrow's traditional knowledge The TKWB operates to promote creative cultural industries and protect sites

2. TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE IN INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS

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3. ITALIAN CONTRIBUTION

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3.1 A Global TK Inventory: Logical framework for traditional knowledge collection, registration and dissemination Iconographic system of traditional and innovative techniques: SITTI Expert system for notification and dissemination General List of Icons 3.2 Analysis of systems of specific techniques 3.3 Study of specific areas using the iconographic system: examples of case-studies carried out 3.4 Innovative use of traditional knowledge and appropriate new solutions 3.5 Ecosystems assessment and creation of a new paradigm

4. THE TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE WORLD BANK

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Activity TKWB structure

5.ITALIAN PROPOSAL :THE ITKnet PROJECT

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Annexes

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TRADITIONAL AND INNOVATIVE KNOWLEDGE : Examples of application ECHO IN THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS

I received the present publication in the occasion of: I undertake to notify traditional knowledge on the site www.tkwb.org I wish to join the TKWB initiative Surname Organisation Address e -mail

Name Country


1. T H E T R A D I T I O N A L K N O W L E D G E W O R L D B A N K FOR SAFEGUARDING ECOSYSTEMS AND P L A N N I N G A S U S T A I N A B L E F U T U R E TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE ENABLED TO BUILD EXCEPTIONAL SITES AND CULTURAL LANDSCAPES OVER TIME

Architecture, archaeological parks and urban features inserted in harmonious or natural valuable contexts of wide variety are the very specific quality of World Heritage sites. Each unique property and masterpiece is part of a system, where nature and culture are directly linked with each other. The achievement and perpetuation of these properties depend on that millenary complex of knowledge and techniques that the United Nations indicated as Traditional and Local Knowledge in international conferences and organizations. These are ancient techniques and practices of a territory passed on through the generations and used for soil management, use and protection of natural areas, rural architecture and for organising urban centres. They are the historical knowledge of humanity that allowed building architecture and landscapes with a universal value protected by UNESCO in the category of cultural landscapes. An appropriate use of natural resources such as water, soil and energy is made possible by using traditional knowledge that establishes the harmony of architecture with the environment, the symbiosis of the techniques of organisation of space with the traditions, the social habits, the spiritual values and the fusion between practical aspects and beauty. Today, traditional knowledge is in danger and its disappearance would not only cause the loss of people's capability to keep and pass on the artistic and natural heritage, but also of an extraordinary source of knowledge and cultural diversity from which appropriate innovative solutions can be derived today and in the future.

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THE TKWB, AN INVENTORY FOR THE PROTECTION AND DISSEMINATION OF TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE

UNESCO launched a global programme for an inventory assigned to IPOGEA Research Centre on Traditional and Local Knowledge. The project gathers and protects historical knowledge and promotes and certifies innovative practices based on the modern re-proposal of tradition as well. The main targets are the firms, the natural areas and the historical centres which will be assigned quality trademarks and acknowledgements of international excellence in production or use of good practices and innovative solutions. Each technology, proposition and experience achieved will provide a spinoff on an international scale and each good practice will contribute to safeguarding the whole planet. The Traditional Knowledge World Bank safeguards the rights of those local populations who are knowledge holders. It not only classifies knowledge, but also assigns community intellectual property rights to populations and knowledge holders and operates an international law protection. The TKWB is set up as a platform for knowledge sharing and dissemination with full acknowledgement of the originators. It is made of a series of hubs in a global network.

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THE TKWB PROMOTES INNOVATION : TODAY'S APPROPRIATE INNOVATIONS ARE TOMORROW'S TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE

Using traditional knowledge does not mean to reapply directly the techniques of the past, but rather to understand the logic of this model of knowledge. It allowed societies, in the past, to manage ecosystems in balance, to carry out outstanding technical, artistic and architectonic work which are universally admired and has always been able to renew and adapt itself. Traditional knowledge is a dynamic system able to incorporate innovation subjected to the test of the long term and thus achieves local and environmental sustainability. The TKWB promotes traditional knowledge as advanced innovative knowledge appropriate to elaborate a new technological paradigm based on the progressive values of tradition: the capability of enhancing a society's internal resources and managing them at a local level; the versatility and the interpenetration of technical, ethical and aesthetic values; the production not per se but for the longterm benefit of the community. Activities are based on the principle according to which each has to enable another one without leaving behind waste; energy use is based on cycles in constant renewal; the purpose, including economic interest, is to protect the ecosystems, the cultural complexity and diversity and all living beings. The project aims to prefigure a new model of development and a technological dimension connected with historical memory.

THE TKWB OPERATES TO PROMOTE CREATIVE CULTURAL INDUSTRIES AND PROTECT SITES The TKWB connects the demand of appropriate techniques from the sites with an exceptional value, the urban ecosystems and the protected areas with the offer of firms operating in this sector. The sites with an exceptional value get acknowledgment on an international scale by adopting the protocols of usage of the appropriate techniques. The firms certified by the TKWB provide the necessary technologies. As a result, the long-term protection of places which will be not allowed to insert processes, techniques, materials and destructive transformations is guaranteed. At the same time a network of firms working for sustainability is promoted. To accept this challenge means for the firms, that they will respect the processes associated with the historical centres and the parks, in particular: to integrate knowledge and the capacities increasingly requested on an international scale; to anticipate the solutions necessary for a sustainable development; to create an appealing image for cultural tourism useful to the success of their products on a worldwide scale.

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2.TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE IN INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS The validity of traditional knowledge and the use of practices derived from it have been asserted for many years now at various levels. In science, research on traditional knowledge variously labelled as Endogenous Knowledge, Appropriate Technologies, Local Knowledge, Indigenous Techniques, Naturebased Knowledge, System of Knowledge, Sustainable Knowledge, Folk Knowledge and Cultural Knowledge, has continued for more than twenty years within a specific line of research aiming at overcoming prevalent top-down approaches to the transfer of technologies as well as achieving a participatory relationship able to foster sustainability. Many international bodies such as the UNCCD, ILO, the OECD, FAO, UNESCO, UNEP, the World Bank and NATO have confirmed its validity through research and in their documents. In June 1999, UNESCO and ICSU (International Council for Science) agreed upon the following statement: “The local and traditional knowledge system, as the dynamic expression of perceiving and understanding the world, can give, and historically has given, a valuable contribution to science and technology. For this reason, there is a need to preserve, protect, research and promote this cultural heritage and empirical knowledge”. As a result of the UN Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992, Traditional Knowledge indicated as Endogenous Sound Technologies (ESTs) is described in chapter 34 of Agenda 21 as technologies that have produced positive results on the environment compared to other technologies. These protect the environment, are less polluting, use resources in a sustainable way, recycle most of their refuse and products, and dispose of all residues in an environmentally acceptable way, better than the technologies they replace. They do not constitute “individual technologies but a whole system that includes know-how, procedures, goods and services and equipment, as well as organisation and management procedures”. In subsequent conferences in Doha, Monterrey and Johannesburg, Traditional Knowledge was

recognised as essential to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment on the state of our planet, launched by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and involving 1,300 experts all over the world, reserves an important section to the Traditional Knowledge as an answer to the crisis of ecosystems. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification UNCCD has approved the following definition elaborated by the Ad hoc Panel on Traditional Knowledge: “Traditional knowledge consists of practical (instrumental) and normative knowledge concerning the ecological, socio-economic and cultural environment. Traditional knowledge originates from people and is transmitted to people by recognizable and experienced actors. It is systemic (inter-sectorial and holistic), experimental (empirical and practical), handed down from generation to generation and culturally enhanced. Such a kind of knowledge supports diversity and enhances and reproduces local resources”.

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Traditional Knowledge is a decisive factor of cultural diversity that is more than a mere difference among cultures, as the UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity stated in 2001. Culture takes diverse forms across time and space. This diversity is embodied in the uniqueness and plurality of the identities of the groups and societies making up humankind. As a source of exchange, innovation and creativity, cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature. In this sense, it is the common heritage of humanity and should be recognized and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations. In November 2003, UNESCO approved a new Convention on the 'intangible cultural heritage', that means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated with that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. In the Ramsar Convention that regulates the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world, traditional knowledge is mentioned as a fundamental instrument for an accurate management of the wetlands. Traditional knowledge is a decisive factor for the promotion of the cultural and creative industries, the objective of a specific request of the European Parliament (2003), which calls on the Member States and the Commission, in consultation with professionals in the sector, to identify priority actions to promote cultural industries. In July 2000, the European Council approved the European Landscape Convention (CEP). In November 2004, the Conference of the Presidents of the Italian self-governing Regions and Provinces approved the statute of the “European Network of the local and regional bodies to enforce the European Landscape Convention� (RECEP). The large majority of the NGOs promotes Traditional Knowledge as a new approach to international development and cooperation after observing negative results of technological transfer from industrialised countries, based on the fallacious assumption that the same system will work in different contexts and societies and that everything that is technically possible should be done.

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IPOGEA CENTER - MATERA

3. ITALIAN CONTRIBUTION In the framework of the activities of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Italy promoted the creation of a Centre on Traditional and Local Knowledge at IPOGEA in Matera. Art. 4 of Law n. 426 of 9 December 1998 sets up the Centre of Matera on Traditional and Local Knowledge to Combat Desertification.

The Italian Ministry of Environment helped organize the 1st and the 2nd International Forum on European Policies to combat desertification in the Mediterranean Basin, held in Matera in July 1997 and in October 1998. The two volume proceedings of the Forum were published as part of Italian activities in support of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, by the Italian Ministry of Environment and UNCCD, Matera, 1999 and 2000, Italian and English editions.

The resolution of CIPE dated 21 December 1999 approved the Regional Programme to combat desertification and stated the fundamental role of Traditional Knowledge within this field. Moreover, it encourages the Regions to make an inventory of that knowledge and to safeguard and promote it as well as to draw up RegionalAction Plans based on traditional knowledge. In the framework of the activities foreseen by PAN (National Action Programme), Italy was entrusted st nd by UNCCD with the organization of the 1 and 2 Ad hoc Panel on traditional knowledge to combat desertification held in Matera, July 15-18, 1999 and May 8-12, 2000. The UNCCD Conference of the Parties held in Bonn in 2000 supported the Italian contribution on Traditional Knowledge and supported an inventory and creation of a global network. Italy, through IPOGEA, followed up on both scores. In October 2005, in Viterbo, the Italian Committee to Combat Drought and Desertification and the University of Tuscia organized the conference “Towards an integration of traditional knowledge and new technologies to combat drought and desertification�, to assess existing experiences at national and international level.

THE ACTIVITIES DEVELOP ALONG THE FOLLOWING LINES: 1. World inventory of traditional knowledge 2. Study, analysis, safeguard, restoration and re-proposal of specific techniques 3. Study on the specific areas with a high cultural value where the historical evolution of local knowledge connected with the organization of landscape, historical centres, crafts and agricultural and food production can be observed and where protocols of analysis and spreading of traditional knowledge and its innovative use can be established 4. Study on innovative use of traditional techniques 5. Ecosystem assessment, elaboration, certification and promotion of a new technological system based on the logic of sustainability

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I N N O VAT I V E APPROPRIATE SOLUTIONS

NEW PARADIGM

DISSEMINATION CLASSIFICATION PROTECTION

SITTI

CREATIVE INDUSTRIES INNOVATIVE USE COMMON RIGHTS

EXPERT SYSTEM

INVENTORY Italy, through IPOGEA, developed an Iconographic System of Tr a d i t i o n a l Te c h n i q u e s a n d Innovative use (SITTI) for recording and identifying the traditional techniques. It is a further elaboration of The Water Atlas. Traditional Knowledge to Combat Desertification by Pietro Laureano, whose English and Spanish versions were published by UNESCO. Pietro Laureano, director of IPOGEA, is an UNESCO expert, the Italian delegate in the Scientific Committee of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Convention (UNCCD) and the President of the Panel on Traditional Knowledge of UNCCD.

STUDIES OF SPECIFIC AREAS

STUDIES OF SPECIFIC TECHNIQUES

STUDIES OF INNOVATIVE USE

TERRITORY

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3.1 GLOBAL TK INVENTORY LOGICAL FRAMEWORK FOR TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE COLLECTION REGISTRATION AND DISSEMINATION

ICONOGRAPHIC SYSTEM OF TRADITIONAL AND INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUES: SITTI

SITTI is a technical operating system which enables to manage and systematize all information under study. The idea of an iconographic system to classify traditional knowledge heritage, divided by functional and typological categories arises from the need to provide also a visual synthesis of such a wide and complex subject. The structure of SITTI was not conceived as a mere unstructured container of data and proofs but rather as an innovative tool able to adapt itself to diversified thematic analyses and increasingly diverse operating contexts, to be a grid of reference and to encourage identification and notification of existing knowledge. A Study Manual of Guidelines and attached Iconographic Archives have been drawn up to apply SITTI in the field.

Notification of techniques and specific areas

INVENTORY EXPERT SYSTEM

ASSESSMENT STUDY

MANUAL

ICONOGRAPHIC ARCHIVES

GUIDE LINES

FIRMS

D A T A COLLECTION

D A T A PROCESSING

D A T A ANALYSIS

WORK OF REHABILITATION Re-proposition

Innovation

EXPERT SYSTEM FOR NOTIFICATION AND DISSEMINATION

The procedures of notification and dissemination of information on techniques rely on a dedicated expert system elaborated with UNESCO. This web-based system aims to built a global network of surveyors who constantly interact with the system and develop and update it with new data.

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The iconographic system has been created to simplify the identification of the techniques and their use. A classification based on single techniques risks weakening the theme and not catching the full meaning and operation of traditional knowledge. TK is part of a complex system. Therefore it can not be reduced to a mere list of technical solutions. A classification based on icons, therefore, has a purely functional aim to facilitate the recognition and appraisal of the techniques. Icons have been grouped into 7 thematic categories. These categories have been further subdivided into icons of reference and specific icons. The reference icons group together more specific techniques according to a wider functional and typological principle.

NOTIFICATION DISSEMINATION CLASSIFICATION

PROTECTION INNOVATIVE USE COMMON RIGHTS

ADVANCED SYSTEM OF TK REGISTRATION

CATEGORIES A

SILVICULTURE, BREEDING, HUNTING AND HARVESTING

B

AGRICULTURE

C

WATER MANAGEMENT

D

SOIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

E

SETTLEMENTS, ARCHITECTURE AND MOVABLE HANDIWORKS

F

ENERGY AND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

G

SOCIAL ORGANISATION, ART AND SPIRITUALITY

EXPERT SYSTEM

TK INVENTORY FORM

TERRITORY SITTI

O P E R AT I V E

ICONOGRAPHIC ARCHIVES OF TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES

T O O L S

ARCHIVES OF THE INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUES

-GENERAL LIST OF ICONS -GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF EVERY SINGLE TECHNIQUE -MAIN LOCAL MANIFESTATION OF EVERY SINGLE TECHNIQUE

- GENERAL LIST OF THE TECHNIQUES SUCCESSFULLY APPLIED (with direct reference to the traditional techniques icons)

- DESCRIPTION OF THE TECHNIQUES LOCALLY APPLIED

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SIMBOLOGY USED FOR ASSESSING THE CURRENT STATE

SIMBOLOGY USED FOR ASSESSING THE OUTPUTS

GUIDELINES FOR THE STUDY ON THE LOCAL CONTEXTS -GUIDELINES FOR AN ANALYTICAL DATA COLLECTION ON THE TYPOLOGY AND THE CONSISTENCY OF THE TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES IN A GEOGRAPHICAL CONTEXT -CONCISE CLASSIFICATION FORMS OF THE STUDY

GENERAL ARCHIVES

STUDY MANUAL OF THE LOCAL CONTEXTS

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GENERAL LIST OF ICONS CATEGORY

ICONS OF REFERENCE

SILVICULTURE, BREEDING, HUNTING AND HARVESTING

B

AGRICULTURE

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SPECIFIC ICONS


C WATER MANAGEMENT

D SOIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

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GENERAL LIST OF ICONS

SETTLEMENTS, ARCHITECTURE AND MOVABLE HANDIWORKS

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ENERGY AND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

SOCIAL ORGANISATION, ART AND SPIRITUALITY

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3.2 ANALYSIS OF SYSTEMS OF SPECIFIC TECHNIQUES Activities specifically concern: University of Wolverhampton, UK

- Restoration techniques of traditional centres and the building of a sustainable town - Agricultural techniques and landscape - Drainage tunnel systems and other water harvesting and management techniques

University of Zurich, SWITZWERLAND

FLORENCE

JAPAN

- Terracing systems IPO

MATERA

GE

Laia Libros, SPAIN

A,

University of Valencia, SPAIN

ITA LY

MEXICO CANADA USA University of Oran USTO, ALGERIA Ministry of Culture, ALGERIA University of Algiers EPAU, ALGERIA

University of Iraklio NAGREF, GREECE Institut des RĂŠgions Arides Medenine, TUNISIA SENEGAL

University Moulay Ismail, MOROCCO

OMAN Sud Timmi Society, ALGERIA

The activity of restoration and organisation of a sustainable town with the use of traditional materials, water harvesting systems and a passive architecture was achieved by IPOGEA in the Sassi of Matera, a troglodyte town recorded in UNESCO World Heritage List. The successful experience of recovering of the whole historical heritage of the Sassi of Matera, which were completely deserted by their inhabitants in the 60s, was made possible thanks to pilot restoration works. Italy is proposing a very similar experience in the Kasbah of Algiers with a Training Initiative funded by the Italian Ministry of ForeignAffairs and entrusted to IPOGEA.

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In relation to landscape, the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR), in the framework of the National Operational Project RIADE, funded analysis and re-proposition of traditional techniques and their innovative use to safeguard territory carried out by IPOGEA on behalf of ENEA. IPOGEA is also currently coordinating two collaborative research projects funded by the European Union (Foggara. Inventory, analysis and valorization of traditional water techniques of European and Saharan drainage tunnels and Shaduf. Traditional Water Techniques: Cultural Heritage for a sustainable future) about water techniques within 10 Mediterranean countries. Further projects also involving Asian countries will follow. Significant results have already been attained. This experience will provide the first detailed classification of these techniques and the appropriate methods of recovery and distribution. IRAN CINA La Maison d’Antioche Institute, SYRIA

SIDATA, PALESTINE

Specific surveys on terracing systems were carried out in Italy and all over the Mediterranean area as well. The results have been published in “La cultura dei terrazzamenti” (The culture of terracing systems) realized by IPOGEA together with Italia Nostra. Pilot projects of landscape restoration with the technique of terraced walls are being carried out in the small towns of Palagianello and Grottaglie, in the Apulia Region of Italy. Following this experience the region of Campania will propose a law for safeguarding and funding the terracing systems and some European Members of Parliament proposed to raise the question at EU level. Italy, through IPOGEA, has contributed to the drawing up of the Environmental Kit to Combat Desertification for use of teachers and students of primary schools in desertification-affected countries, developed by UNESCO MAB (Man and Biosphere) Programme in collaboration with the UNCCD Secretariat. The importance of activities concerning traditional knowledge were acknowledged by NATO, which judged its role as positive in the mitigation of conflicts caused by environmental disasters and migratory flows. In 2004 NATO granted to IPOGEA an award to coordinate the project “Combating Desertification with Traditional Knowledge - A Contribution to Euro-Mediterranean Security”.

PNT, JORDAN

CULTNAT, EGYPT

Rehabilitation of a degraded slope by re-proposing the use of the terracing technique PALAGIANELLO (ITALY)

Survey of the current state through photogrammetric techniques

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3.3 STUDY OF SPECIFIC AREAS USING THE ICONOGRAPHIC SYSTEM EXAMPLES OF CASE-STUDIES CARRIED OUT :

MATERA (ITALY)

SITTI proceeds by subsequent steps:

I LEVEL:

IDENTIFICATION OF TECHNIQUES

The Iconographic System of Traditional Techniques and Innovative use (SITTI) I LEVEL is used to make an inventory of traditional techniques, qualities and evolutionary possibilities over the areas of the highland of Murgia, the Park of Cilento and all over Mediterranean (Algeria, Syria and Palestine). The methodology allows research at each site to fulfil and extent the list of traditional knowledge. Thus, a local strategy of conservation, restoration and innovative e n h a n c e m e n t b a s e d o n t h e DELINEATION OF THE STUDIED AREA archaeological and historical memory is decided. The sites get acknowledgement for adopting protocols of good practice.

- Delineation of the study area - Identification of the techniques and choice of the icons of reference - Survey and analysis of the techniques - Notification to the expert system II LEVEL: - Wider territorial interactions (ecosystems, cultural landscape) - Analysis of the integrated local knowledge system - Historical stratification of local NOTIFICATION OF EXISTING TECHNIQUES knowledge - Identification of appropriate innovative knowledge - Identification of landscape units and of knowledge related to them - Geographical Information System for Elaborating planning scenarios III LEVEL: - Socio-economic dimension - Role of institutions and local actors - Safeguard, dissemination and planning scenarios - Socio-economic assessment of the reuse of traditional techniques and their Innovative use - Strategies of economic enhancement

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P R E H I S T O R I C

S E T T L E M E N T

N A T U R A L

C O N T E X T

NEOLITHIC VILLAGES

GRAVINA

R U R A L

S E T T L E M E N T

FARMS AND “JAZZI”

U R B A N

S E T T L E M E N T

MATERA

SURVEY AND ANALYSIS OF THE TECHNIQUES

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3.3 STUDY OF SPECIFIC AREAS USING THE ICONOGRAPHIC SYSTEM EXEMPLES OF CASE-STUDIES CARRIED OUT :

WADI MZAB (ALGERIA)

I LEVEL

SYMBOLOGY USED FOR ASSESSING THE CURRENT STATE UNALTERED EFFICIENT

IDENTIFICATION OF TECHNIQUES

DELINEATION OF THE STUDIED AREA

NOTIFICATION OF EXISTING TECHNIQUES PROTECTED AND WORKING

PROTECTED AND MODIFIED

ALTERED

AT HIGH RISK OF ABANDONMENT OR DISAPPEARANCE

ABANDONED OR REPLACED

DEAD

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SISTEMA ICONOGRAFICO DELLE TECNICHE TRADIZIONALI E INNOVATIVE

N A T U R A L

C O N T E X T

WADI

RURAL

SETTLEMENT

PALMGROVES

URBAN

SETTLEMENT

PENTAPOLIS

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3.4 INNOVATIVE USE OF TK AND APPROPRIATE NEW SOLUTIONS

The firms that propose the innovative use of traditional techniques or create new solutions fitting the logic of traditional techniques are selected. ENEA, National Research Council (CNR) in Pisa and Florence, the universities and the research centres organised in a world network have joined this project. The Municipality and the Province of Florence and the Region of Tuscany are candidates to house a centre of excellence as the point of reference for the 800 UNESCO sites all over the world. FederParchi and LegAmbiente have launched an initiative involving a network of 751 protected areas spread over a 3 million hectares. This initiative will culminate with an exhibition of traditional techniques and their innovative use. During the first phase, the application of SITTI and the expert system enabled to notify each single technique and examine specific local and integrated ecosystems of technical knowledge. After having assessed the current state and the possible priorities of protection and recovery, the proper innovative techniques for each single case-study are selected and certified, while destructive or inappropriate techniques are removed.

In the case of drainage tunnels, research carried out within the framework of the Foggara European project demonstrated that the use of local materials and aesthetical and monumental qualities of the tunnels help to safeguard their water harvesting function. The project proved that:

The cementification and rehabilitation of foggaras with heavy technology are inappropriate.

Innovative techniques purposefully created to enable maintenance with light tools, which can be locally handled to safeguard the aesthetical qualities and materials, are appropriate.

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TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE ARCHIVES

In SITTI, to the archives of traditional techniques, correspond archives of innovative techniques. These latter are exactly registered in correspondence with the icons of the traditional techniques, i.e. the functional or typological principles which are on the basis of these practices.

INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS ARCHIVES

The functional features, the main technical-economic details and the applications already carried out in the territory and their results are inserted in the innovative techniques forms. A proper scientific committee will take on the assessment of the technologies having all the necessary requirements to be inserted in the database. This will guarantee a sure and constantly updated support to future work and to the firms involved.

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3.5 ECOSYSTEMS ASSESSMENT AND CREATION OF A NEW PARADIGM

II LEVEL

OASIS ECOSYSTEM

Traditional knowledge is closely i n t e g r a t e d w i t h e c o n o m y, e n v i r o n m e n t a n d s o c i e t y. I t determines the building of anthropic ecosystem. Based on sustainable cycles its operation leads to the definition of a new technological paradigm.

NEW PARADIGM

MATERA ECOSYSTEM

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PLANNING ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION THROUGH LANDSCAPE STRATIGRAPHIC ANALYSIS GARGANO CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

LANDSCAPE UNIT

Cross-section of the landscape building process

Territory making process and relevant techniques through a stratigraphic analysis for the identification of the Landscape Units

Horizontal stratigraphic analysis

MIDDLE AGES ROMAN AGE METAL AGE NEOLITHIC AGE PALAEOLITHIC AGE

3D - model

The geographic information system synthesizes in a 3D-model the whole traditional techniques and the developing process for the identification of planning scenarios.

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4. THE TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE WORLD BANK ACTIVITY The Region of Tuscany, the Province and the Municipality of Florence are assessing the promotion of the Traditional Knowledge World Bank. An office is being equipped in Florence in the prestigious Dante's House in the very historical centre of town. By recovering the ancient tradition of the Culture Academies and of the Arts and Crafts Associations, Florence intends to promote the traditional and local quality of the products, by rewarding the local firms' systems with a quality brand. The initiative is part of the international role assigned to Florence in the Management Plan that the town has to draw up as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this context, other initiatives are taken, such as the experimentation of citizen participation in the Management Plan, the extension of blending Florence into the hilly landscape of the Province and the establishment of the TK Academy Award. This award is established by the TK Academy intended to reward the holders of knowledge, the innovators and other outstanding personalities in this field. An International Master on UNESCO sites management and some European programmes on the same topic will also be promoted. The monumental complexes of Villa Demidoff or Villa Monteggi in the Province of Florence could be used to develop the initiatives of the TKWB. The aim is to develop, together with the CNR of Florence, an expert system implemented with UNESCO to constantly update the inventory by using a network of surveyors all over the world and automatically insert data in a system of world georeferenced maps.

TUSCANY LANDSCAPE

The activities will support on the one hand a system of firms through the organisation in charge and on the other hand the protected areas through FederParchi. Exhibitions, meetings and shows will be organized to prove the validity of the traditional and local techniques and their innovative use to safeguard the landscapes and the ecosystems.

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The TKWB is not only data bank, but has concrete associated activities promoting applications:  Through the TKWB knowledge heritage deposited, and the offer from innovative firms using and promoting appropriate practices, meet the need of sites “par excellence”, protected landscapes and private demand asking for appropriate practices and products.  Innovative knowledge and techniques are certified in compliance with a protocol that guarantees their environmental compatibility and sustainability, the lack of harmful elements and its not-involvement in illegal/unregistered work and juvenile exploitation. Quality trademarks and local identity brands are assigned to this goal.  This implies also interventions of requalification and training of the local firms system, which becomes more competitive in international calls. Appropriate actions are started to include assessment of local knowledge and quality in tenders and prevent the local firms system from being taken over by the international operators.  The areas that commit themselves to adopting a protocol of use and production of these products and techniques are recognized by the assignation of a brand as sites, ecosystems, historical centres and cultural landscapes “par excellence”. Awards and acknowledgement will be assigned to the holders, the promoters and the users of good practices.  The TKWB safeguards the local rights on traditional knowledge. In Europe, some areas considered as marginal and underdeveloped attained the economic take-off thanks to common ownership rights on the local resources. These rights enabled the launch of a strongly integrated productive dynamics involving culture, tourism, agriculture, services, technologies, infrastructures and crafts. In developing countries the common ownership rights guarantee an increase in the remuneration of the local products. They enable to prevent the traditional techniques and knowledge from external expropriation and provide the local services and goods manufacturers with effective economic incentives for developing their cultural production. These rights also prevent counterfeits and unfair competition. Finally, they considerably contribute to the creation of a common image of the site. The success of the common ownership rights depends on quality assurance of the commonly safeguarded goods or services. The TKWB will amplify those values which make unique and exceptional the concerned site by highlighting its typicality and quality. The quality of the landscape and of the enhancement process must be reflected in the nature of the products and the services offered by the directly connected enterprises, so that also the offer of the enterprises can be distinguished on the bases of the brand characterizing the cultural landscape and all products of the territory.

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THE TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE WORLD BANK

STRUCTURE TK ACADEMY The TK Academy has a mandate to assess and validate traditional techniques carried out in sites of high cultural values, landscapes, historical centres and archaeological parks. It makes possible to identify traditional knowledge in a certain ecosystem or historical landscape. The analysed place supplies its own contribution to the general inventory. The knowledge owned, the firms and the products receive a specific acknowledgment of their value and are disseminated in protected areas and UNESCO sites all over the world. A TK Academy Award was instituted by the town of Florence. The classification is based on the use of SITTI (Iconographic System of Traditional Techniques and Innovative use). The action, carried out with the collaboration of the municipalities, recalls the historical tradition of the Culture Academies and Arts and Crafts Associations and promotes the traditional and local quality of products, by rewarding the local firms systems with a brand that certifies quality.

TK FELLOWSHIP This is a fellowship of the traditional knowledge established for the extractors of knowledge: architects, archaeologists, naturalists, researchers and boards of experts experienced both on the field and in the countries where they will make an inventory of the traditional techniques and their innovative use.

TK EXPERT SYSTEM This is the processing system of the dynamic inventory. It enables to share the inventory of traditional knowledge through the Web and to constantly expand it. A network of operators on a worldwide scale is helped in the recognition of traditional knowledge by using a dynamic form based on the iconographic system SITTI. An automatic system of notification to selected experts allows validating data. Through a system of georeferences, data are automatically located on processing world maps and integrated with graphical, photographical and textual data which are constantly enlarged and studied.

TK DATA BASE This more specifically concerns the inventory and promotion of innovative products and firms. TK Databank will involve both the firms network and safeguarded areas. Around it expositions, meetings and workshops will be organised to validate traditional and local knowledge and their innovative use to protect landscapes and ecosystems.

TK UNC This is the longest-term action with the greatest cultural and political relevance: The promotion of a United Nation Traditional Knowledge Convention. It would fulfil a need expressed since the Rio Earth Summit by International Organizations, supported by NGOs and PVS. The current UNESCO Convention on Cultural Heritage was created to protect monuments and with difficulty extends its safeguard action to landscapes and ecosystems. The very historical centres are inserted by now in large metropolitan areas. It is feared that these areas of monumental value will disappear, if do not apply sustainability protocols.

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TK UNC

TECHNIQUES USE PROTOCOL

MANAGEMEN PLAN

PROTECTED AREAS UNESCO SITES

TERRITORY

PLANNING INNOVATIVE APPROPRIATE TECHNIQUES

SITTI EXPERT SYSTEM TK DATA BASE

CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

TERRITORY PROTECTED AREAS UNESCO SITES

NEW PARADIGM NOTIFICATION

ASSESSMENT

TK FELLOWSHIP

TK ACADEMY

TERRITORY

CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

KNOWLEDGE COLLECTION


5. ITALIAN PROPOSAL: THE ITKnet PROJECT INNOVATIVE TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE NETWORK

UNCCD

PROPOSAL OF THE GOVERNMENT OF ITALY FOR THE REALIZATION OF A PILOT PROJECT OF A NETWORK OF INSTITUTIONS, BODIES AND EXPERTS ON TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE

In accordance with decision 12COP/.4, the Italian authorities were invited to continue the work undertaken on traditional knowledge in collaboration with other interested institutions and to present a proposal for the realization of a pilot project of a Network of institutions, bodies and experts on traditional knowledge (ICCD/COP(5)/CST/2). Such a global network will be implemented in successive steps. The cognitive purposes are: 1. to draw up an inventory on

TK of pilot countries and their innovative use 2. to study the possibilities to disseminate TK 3. to study the parameters and the indicators on the loss of TK as well as to analyze the possible ways to fight against such a loss 4.to select the successful practices and to evaluate a system of incentives to implement and disseminate traditional knowledge and the innovative technology within the framework of traditional know-how 5. to examine any methods for the protection of rights on TK that subjects, c o m m u n i t i e s , disseminators and innovators of traditional techniques can implement 6. to evaluate the promotion of traditional techniques by the Focal Points of each country and give indications to adopt nationwide safeguard and dissemination strategies

www.tkwb.org 30


According to UNCCD recommendations some important aspects of ITKNET project are being implemented with the support of different institutions and organisms (UNESCO, EU, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NATO). In particular, they are realizing the phases related to the database, network organization and to the study on the specific areas presented in this publication. A prototype expert system realized with the contribution of UNESCO is accessible on the web (www.tkwb.org). It allows consulting a dynamic questionnaire based on the iconographic system SITTI which guides to the recognition and notification of new knowledge. Textual, graphical and photographical data are automatically inserted in a Geographic Worldwide Maps System through a method of georeferences. Through this system types of new data are constantly integrated: bibliographies, texts, maps, photos and projects. The 3D-worldwide maps allow zooming in to considerable resolution.

ITKNET project allows the Focal Points to carry out a state of art survey and notification.

For this purpose the project provides: - A laptop computer station - Suitcase for mobile broadband transmission - GPS and digital camera - Training for the use of the equipment and the SITTI and Expert System management The project allows: - Sharing a structured model of local knowledge on GIS MAP - Constantly integrating and increasing knowledge - Reducing the rural and urban digital-divide both among countries and regions - Creating a worldwide traditional knowledge network, in particular, by integrating those areas and rural resources which are still excluded from the information society - Protecting, promoting and enhancing local knowledge heritage Threatened by global economy

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ANNEXES TRADITIONAL AND INNOVATIVE KNOWLEDGE Traditional knowledge consists of practical (instrumental) and normative knowledge concerning the ecological, socio-economic and cultural environment. Traditional knowledge originates from people and is transmitted to people by recognizable and experienced actors. It is systemic (inter-sectorial and holistic), experimental (empirical and practical), handed down from generation to generation and culturally enhanced. Such a kind of knowledge supports diversity and enhances and reproduces local resources. (Science and Technology Committee, UNCCD) Traditional knowledge is to be considered as part of an extensive system which hands down and accumulates shared knowledge whose proficiency and evolution is appreciable over long and very long periods. The functioning principle of the traditional systems is based on a strong cohesion between society, culture and the economy. Their efficacy depends on the interaction between several factors which should be carefully considered: aesthetic and ethical values complete the interaction between environmental, productive, technological and social aspects. Traditional techniques, therefore, cannot be reduced to a list of mere isolated technical solutions able to solve a specific problem. To catch the full meaning and importance of traditional techniques they must be always highly contextualised, not only into the local environmental situation, but to a precise historical moment and the complex social construction which originated them. The understanding of the logic of traditional techniques' use and of their success in terms of environmental sustainability and efficacy over long periods is fundamental not only to safeguard a vast cultural heritage but as a new paradigm on which the modern re-proposition of traditional techniques must be founded. As a matter of fact, using traditional knowledge today means to re-interpret the logic as innovative advanced knowledge and to elaborate models of technological development based on the added values of tradition. These values allowed societies, in the past, to manage ecosystems in balance, to carry out technical, artistic and architectonic works universally accepted. Traditional knowledges is a dinamic ystem able to incorporate innovation subjected to the test of the long term and the local environmental sustainability. MODERN KNOWLEDGE

Multipurpose System

Imediate Efficacy

Functionalism in the long period

Specialization

Holism

Dominant powers

Autonomy

Separation

Integration

External resources Conflicts Monoculture Uniformity Severity Expensive maintenance Internationalization Waste Technicism and rationalism Dependence

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TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE

Specific solution

Internal inputs Symbiosis Relationship and complexity Diversity Flexibility Self-regulation and work intensity Contextualizing Saving Symbolism and weakth of meanings Autopoiesis


EXAMPLES OF APPLICATION Agriculture Prehistoric traditional techniques, which were used to build the Italian agricultural landscape, are today reproposed in agriculture as the best practices to replenish soils, save water and combat hydrogeological instability and desertification.

Costiera Amalfitana (ITALIA)

The technique of the drainage ditches spread in the Apulia district of Daunia 6,000 years ago when Neolithic communities built more than 3,000 villages surrounded by trenches in the shape of a crescent. The ditches met environmental needs by draining water and drying some areas to be tilled during the humid season and by working as drinking troughs for cattle, humus collection and water reserves during dry season. Neolithic Villages (Daunia, Italy)

TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUE MODERN TECHNOLOGY

HUMID SEASON DRY SEASON

Excavation and drainage systems

After this practice has been replaced by mechanized agriculture, today these places are suffering terrible inundations in winter and extreme drought in summer. On the Ethiopian highlands, on the slopes of the Rift Valley ridges, there are many villages where multipurpose ditches systems are still used to store and manage water resources, gather sewage and produce fertilizers.

Mechanized agriculture

WATER RESERVES AND HUMUS COLLECTION

DROUGHT RESOURCES WASTE DESERTIFICATION

DRY AREAS FOR CULTIVATION

INOUNDATIONS NATURAL DISASTERS UNHEALTHY AREAS Rift Valley (ETIOPIA)

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The atmospheric water condensed inside caves or mounds of stones and the dry limestone walls are used by all the ancient societies in arid areas. Today, authentic aerial wells, atmospheric condensers producing water from vapour, are used in the desert. They produce water from atmospheric moisture according to the principles and resources of very ancient techniques. The practice of setting cistern-jars full of water or calcareous masses close to the plants to provide irrigation is today re-proposed with innovative techniques which enable to overcome constraints in ancient systems through modern drop irrigation. These traditional innovative techniques are used, for example, during the processes of reforestation of arid areas, thus allowing each single shrub to be supplied with the quantity of water it needs during the phases of growing as long as the plant will get independent vegetative power. Within the framework of this family of techniques a big company elaborated an enzymatically degradable product called dry water which, set into the soil close to the roots, progressively transforms into the necessary water supply.

The drainage tunnels are underground tunnels spread over arid areas since 3,000 years and which are still working today in the Sahara Desert, in China and in Iran to supply the oases with water resources. They allow to absorb the right quantity of water for the replenishment of the environment itself. This solution could be re-proposed, also in Italy, as an alternative to the excavation of wells which lower the groundwater and deeply perforate the soil, thus causing pollution and the salinisation on the surface. In the Sahara Desert, people are experimenting the use of techniques to relieve the hard excavation work by introducing small machines planned for the purpose. This innovative category includes the whole of mechanical adapted tools which range from mini-tractors for the excavation of lunettes for water harvesting to new machines for sustainable agriculture. The re-proposition in this field of ancient techniques enables to get important successes to combat erosion and soil degradation. In southern Italy there is successful experimentation with practices such as the grassing and sowing on “hard soil”. The first consists in making the grass grow under the orchards and in the olive groves, thus it forms a protective cover to avoid ploughing which causes erosion. The second consists in sowing wheat over unploughed soils. This technique enables to protect soils, to reduce costs and to have better results than by ploughing. This practice is most advantageous during drought periods because ears of wheat grow less high and need a lesser quantity of water and chemical fertilizers. ZERO TILLAGE COST OF FULL DETERIORATION FACTOR YIELD/ha

The most largely spread technique

25€/ha

110 €/ha

42q/ha dry years

15q/ha dry years

45q/ha Rainy years

45,69q/ha Rainy years

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Urban settlement Several innovative techniques coming from tradition are being experimented in urban fields. The building of most of the ancient centres followed the layout of the terracing and the water systems network. As a matter of fact, the rainwater harvesting techniques, the areas with the walled gardens, the use of organic remains for the production of humus, the passive architecture methods and climate control for food conservation and for energy saving and the practices of recycling production and food residues have been integrated and perpetuated in the very structure of the ancient centres. This category includes all innovative techniques in the photovoltaic, sun warming, water catchment, composting and waste recycling fields. In some advanced contexts e.g. in Tokyo, a number of industries are now proposing by law the roofed-garden technique in new houses where the vegetable covering on the terraced of the modern buildings, which brings to mind the hanging-gardens in Babylonia. This keeps optimal climatic conditions inside the houses, harvests water and become an area for entertainment and contemplation. The micro-solutions for city quarters and houses represent a large innovative sector in the waste recycling field. Several mini-compost machines to be placed inside the gardens or in common areas of the quarters have been realized to directly absorb organic waste and supply the gardens with humus. A water compost machine is a device set beneath the toilet bowl, which directly transforms waste into compost. Biomass mini-reactors which transform waste into kitchen gases as well as greater plants for heating the whole house have been also realized. Also small and large-scale solutions for sewage water have been found. In Germany, modern houses have been equipped with a vertical marsh, a device which reproduces the processes of water decantation and filtration still existing naturally in marshlands. The process is reproduced along the wall of the building in glass interspaces where sewage waters seep into, infiltrate and constantly recycle themselves by gravity. In Calcutta, an innovative traditional technique used on a very large scale solved the serious problem of used waters. Sewage waters, traditionally re-used in rice-fields, are today turned into a resource for irrigating and fertilising rice fields by using proper innovative systems of sewage waters filtration and sterilization.

Architecture A very large series of products, materials and know-how necessary to a high-quality architecture form a further innovative sector. The aesthetic components that we appreciate in ancient towns, the beauty of the natural materials, the comfort of the buildings and spaces, the organic relationship with the landscape are due to the intrinsic qualities of the traditional techniques and to the search for the symbiosis and the harmony embedded in the local practices. In this field, experiences of firms reproposing market materials and processes derived from tradition, such as lime, natural clay and pozzolana, both for rehabilitation and new constructions are now largely spread.

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Production and landscape Local knowledge is a propulsory and economic factor in different production sectors. Situations in which tradition persists, and its role in society and economy is consolidated and stabilised, can be proved specifically in the more technologically advanced countries and sectors. The values of tradition, manufacturing practices and the craftsmen's skills are the basis on which is founded the great added value of productions of enormous economic importance for many modern countries. In particular the typical food production such as oil, cheese and wine safeguards both the aesthetic and environmental quality of the landscape, since the old production systems are possible thanks to the maintenance of traditional techniques of soil management. In this same field, the growing dissemination of organically controlled agricultural productions and meats shows even more interest in traditional techniques of husbandry and breeding. These considerations are true even in other sectors ranging from quality articles and haute couture to real estate and the building market. The most refined production houses are proud to list the traditional techniques they use in their manufacturing methods and the success of so many companies is actually due to the capacity to incorporate tradition into their processes or to be located in traditional environments or historical town centres. In the regions of Valais in Switzerland, in the Loire Valley in France and in Tuscany in Italy, the maintenance of traditional techniques in agriculture has ensured the stability of high quality landscapes. The major difficulties and burdens due to the use of more expensive labour techniques can be overcome thanks to the great value of the product that can be obtained with these techniques, and in these cases, the wines.

In Valais, the water catchment systems from the sources of springs and from glaciers which, through little surface canals called bisse, allow mountain slopes to be irrigated by gravity on a higher level than the stream's natural course. A similar technique is today re-proposed in Tibet with innovative methods to protect glaciers which are in danger because of global warming. In the Loire Valley, the traditional technique of the cave-dwellings and of the excavation of subterranean caves is maintained in order to preserve each single metre of surface area, precious for highquality wine production and, in order to organise wine cellars with a perfect microclimate for the production of that product. In Tuscany, wine production provides the economic resources necessary to preserve from destructive transformations one of the most wonderful agrarian landscapes, consolidated and affirmed over the centuries.

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Thus, it is wrong to consider traditional knowledge as marginal compared to the great economic and technological processes under way. Even from a quantitative point of view, their use still supports most of humankind which is distributed throughout the less industrialized countries. Paradoxically, in these places where traditional techniques are still used in a massive way, these are considered by the modernist thought as a phenomenon of backwardedness, whereas, in advanced countries, they create an image of desirability and provide added value. What we recognize as tradition is not a static and immutable condition but a dynamic system which evolved by making innovative aspects so much an integral part of itself that sometimes becomes difficult to interpret. For instance, nowadays, everyone considers the Mediterranean traditional space as one which cannot be separated from olive and tomato cultivation, however, both of them were introduced: the olive in ancient times and the tomato after the 16th century. It is commonly thought that American native peoples are associated with the use of horses. However, the latter arrived on the continent only after the Europeans' arrival. American nomadic people used them immediately and, during the period of colonisation of the American Far West, the horse was already an indissoluble component of the local tradition. Medieval historical houses persisted in Europe thanks to the fact that this architecture was restored and adapted, with the hygienic facilities required for modern life. The more this is done with respect for tradition and authenticity, the more it requires advanced innovative and appropriate capacities and creates added value as well as economic effects. The same consideration is true for entire historical centres and rural landscapes which are doomed to perish and be abandoned when they are unable to incorporate the innovations they need in order to function. In Liguria where in the Cinque Terre region there is one of the largest systems of terraced slopes in the Mediterranean, this traditional practice that protects the soils, catches and channels the waters, has been perpetuated through innovative agricultural mechanization. Agricultural work on terraces is hard due to tiring transport systems which are operational only on foot. Traditionally there were techniques of transport by means of sledges drawn up the hill by ropes. Already at the beginning of the century these were substituted with mechanical funicular systems on rails. The same technique is re-proposed today with appropriate monorail systems that enable the ascent of the slope without disturbing the landscape or the ecosystem.

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In Botswana, the motswelo is a traditional form of cooperative and bank, which usually gathers together between 15 and 20 people who join the group voluntarily and bring what they can provide: money, produce of the land or work. Thanks to this ancient system it is possible to save money, to obtain interest-free loans and funds to start important activities. For instance, it is possible to organize the production and the sale of traditional beer, the cultivation of new lands or the restoration of villages. Production and trade are considered as the equivalent of money deposits. All the profits are given, in turn, to the members of the motswelo who use them to fund one of their activities or other social needs such as feasts, marriages or the purchase of a house. These practices are today reproduced by the experience of Ethical Banks and micro-loans which are an innovative means to recover traditional social habits. In Burkina Faso zai is a particular traditional technique able to regenerate highly degraded soils. The soil is dug with holes that fill up with water in the humid season and are used as dump-sites for rubbish and manure in the dry season. This practice attracts termites that digest rubbish, thus its absorption by the plants' roots. Furthermore, the tunnels dug by the termites increase the soil's porosity. Seeds are then sown in the holes, giving very high crop yields. Innovative practices which promote original forms of symbiosis between humankind and animals or micro-organisms are today re-proposed to rehabilitate degraded soils or soils made suitable for human living in extreme areas. In the Balearic Islands, feixes are a traditional system of agricultural organization according to which the plant roots are irrigated directly from underground without wasting water. The tilled fields are separated by superficial drainage channels into which water flows. From these a network of channels made of porous materials and covered with a layer of seaweed branches out under the cultivations. Thus, channels release the quantity of water to the tilled soil according to seasonal and climatic needs. The technique is re-proposed in hydroponic cultivations and for planning space stations.

The competitiveness of the past Thus, we must speak about an on-going construction of tradition. To guarantee its future does not mean to reduce or inhibit capacities of innovation, though this idea has been undergone over time to critiques and biases and weakened by the lack of communication and exchange of successful experiences as well. With emigration and the dramatic transfer from traditional habitats into new urban agglomerations, the rapid abandonment of the agricultural sector by large segments of the population and with the superficial suggestion of the absolute superiority of modern technology, the process of conservation and dissemination of knowledge is interrupted and lost. On the contrary, the good welfare conditions of people favour social cohesion, confidence within cultural identity and enable the safeguarding of traditional systems through the guarantee of a high remuneration of the work necessary to maintain them. It explains the apparent paradox of those rich countries which were able to maintain high levels of traditional techniques, and succeeded in paying for the necessary efforts with a great increase in product value. Thus, we can state that tradition is a feature of 'successful modernity', capable of getting benefits and values from it. To re-propose tradition by resuming its historical relationship with people's innovative and creative power is decisive to safeguard landscape and realize sustainable futures.

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Re-proposing the ancient knowledge is not a return to the past. The logic of traditional knowledge is that of the future technologies. The modern space stations are already using appropriate techniques, resources disposal systems and a fully energy autonomy. It is thanks to these techniques that humankind will be able to survive even in extreme conditions of cosmos and safeguard also our planet earth: a drop of water in the immensity of universe.

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ECHO IN THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS

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The present publication has been realized by:

IPOGEA Research Centre on Local and Traditional Knowledge ipogea@ipogea.org www.ipogea.org

Offices: Vico conservatorio s/n 75100 Matera ITALY Via Mattei,12 50012 Bagno a Ripoli Florence ITALY

Coordinator: Pietro Laureano They have collaborated: Federico Labanti Nieves L贸pez Izquierdo Anna Cirella Massimiliano E. Burgi Gianluca Padula Andrea Mancuso

They have contributed: UNESCO ROSTE Italian Committee to Combat Drought and Desertification Laia Libros Under the patronage of : Province of Florence Municipality of Florence

The initiative is promoted by the Province of Florence in collaboration with: Legambiente, Federparchi, Symbola, Compagnia dei Parchi A special acknowledgment to: Roberto Di Vincenzo Matteo Fusilli Piero Gagliardo Cornelia Nauen Domenico Nicoletti Antonio Peman Philippe Pypaert Fabio Renzi Maurizio Sciortino


It is available “The Water Atlas. Traditional knowledge to combat desertification” by Pietro Laureano in English, Spanish and Italian editions. Size: 240x310 mm; Pages: 440; Photos: 372; Drawings: 400; Price: € 80,00

Order to: LAIA LIBROS C/Copèrnic, 3, Bajos 08021 Barcelona SPAIN Tel. +93 201 12 84 Fax. +93 414 49 02 E.mail laialibros@laialibros.com E.mail ipogea@ipogea.org

IPOGEA

Pietro Laureano, architect and town planner, is a Unesco consultant on arid areas, Islamic society and ecosystems in danger. He worked for eight years in the Sahara desert and coordinated projects in Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and Ethiopia. He is the author of the report on the successful addition of the Sassi of Matera and the Cilento Park to the Unesco World Heritage List. He is one of the 1,300 experts from 95 countries who took part to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) launched by UN SecretaryGeneral Kofi Annan in June 2001. He taught at the University of Florence, Algiers and Bari at the Faculty of Architecture and he is professor in the Master's Degree courses at the University of Basilicata and Bologna. In his quality as Italian representative in the technical-scientific committee of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and as President of the traditional knowledge Panel promoted a world data bank on the local knowledge system. At present this mission is being carried out by the research centre IPOGEA that was founded by the author and located in the Sassi of Matera. IPOGEA, Research Centre on Local and Traditional Knowledge, coordinates EU projects in 10 countries all over the Mediterranean and research and landscape restoration works carried out by means of traditional techniques and their innovative use. He has published Sahara giardino sconosciuto (Giunti Barbèra, Firenze 1989; Sahara jardin méconnu, Larousse, Paris 1991), Giardini di pietra. I Sassi di Matera e la civiltà mediterranea (Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 1993); Jardin de pierre. Les Sassi de Matera et la civilisation méditerranéenne (Presses Universitaires des Vincennes, 2005) and La piramide rovesciata. Il modello dell'oasi per il pianeta Terra (Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 1995). www.laureano.it

Traditional Knowledge World Bank  

Traditional Knowledge constitutes the ancient knowledge of humanity, the deepest layer on which our science and culture have developed, the...

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