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Innovating through community capacity in traditional knowledge and Ethno medicine: a case study from Tamil Nadu (India)

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Abstract:

This article looks at innovation as a product of the interaction between scientific and indigenous knowledge (IK). The innovation process raises questions about how knowledge on medicinal plants (MPs) is acquired, commoditized and politicized. By invoking the experiences of two related Indian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the article examines attempts made to promote IK in MPs through botanical knowledge and knowledge based on policies of biodiversity conservation, global health and development. The case studies further help shed light on how local knowledge is reinvented to fit into new global networks. Making traditional medicine (TRM) more visible through NGOs helps promote IK in MPs; it also has the effect of disbanding TRM from embodied knowledge and daily practices.

Keywords: India; capacity development; ethno-medicine; innovation system; local communities

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/tmsd.9.1.3_1

Affiliations: University of Toronto Scarborough.

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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