Local and Indigenous Knowledge in Small Islands
Description/achievement of initiative

Different knowledge systems at the UNESCO–ICSU (International Council for Science) World Conference on Science (Budapest, June 1999) contributed to the launching in 2002 of an intersectoral project on Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in a Global Society (LINKS). The LINKS project focuses on the interface between local and indigenous knowledge and the Millennium Development Goals of poverty eradication and environmental sustainability, stressing the importance of long-tested traditional knowledge systems that can enable communities to survive and sustain themselves in a changing world while maintaining environmental integrity. Among the early starting LINKS activities relating to small islands are those on indigenous peoples and protected areas in the Surin islands of Thailand, on village-based marine resource management in Vanuatu and on an environmental encyclopedia of the Marovo Lagoon in the Solomon Islands.In Vanuatu, a pilot scheme is underway for incorporating traditional knowledge in primary and secondary school curricula.

Implementation methodologies

Research on traditional resource use strategies and practices in land and water (including marine) ecosystems, initiatives to nurture new kinds of partnerships between indigenous peoples and multi-use protected areas, cultural dimensions of traditional knowledge, relationships between cultural diversity and biological diversity, ethnobotany and the equitable and sustainable use of plant resources, and the role of traditional knowledge in the contemporary world.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure


UNESCO, Originally Thailand, Vanuatu, and Solomon Islands, and now expanded
Progress reports
Goal 4
Goal 17

Basic information
Time-frame: 2014 - ongoing
UNESCO, Originally Thailand, Vanuatu, and Solomon Islands, and now expanded
Contact information
Douglas Nakashima, Chief, Section for Small Islands and Indigenous Knowledge, links@unesco.org
United Nations