Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Traditional Ecological Knowledge (hereafter TEK) has been explained differently by various researchers. Hall (2006) considers TEK as a component of social capital for promoting economic progress and supplying environmental services which are neglected by official planners and policymakers. On the other hand, Berkes et al. (2010), defines TEK as cumulative and adaptive by nature, tested by trial and error and transmitted through generations orally or by shared practical experiences. Recently there is growing interest of scientists to understand TEK due to the recognition of an important role that indigenous and local knowledge can contribute to decisions making about the use of biodiversity and its management ( Smith et al., 2017 ; Berkes et al., 2010). Generally, TEK consists of the body of knowledge, beliefs, traditions, practices, institutions, and worldviews developed and sustained by indigenous, peasant and local communities in interaction with their biophysical environment (Toledo, 2002). When the knowledge is limited to a certain area, it is referred to as Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK).
Insect pollinators perform an important ecosystem service of pollination both in wild species and crops (Klein et al., 2007), and therefore contribute to livelihoods. There is an increasing concern about global declining pollinator abundance and diversity which consequently can affect livelihoods (Smith et al., 2017). Therefore, the assessment of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in rural areas is vital as the gathered information can be shared with scientific knowledge and develop more effective conservation strategies (Marques et al., 2017).
A study by (Marques et al., 2017) in Rio de Janeiro, Southern Brazil to evaluate local knowledge on pollinators revealed the need to share scientific knowledge to the community due to the fact that majority of respondents have little knowledge on pollinators as they reported the honey bee, Apis Mellifera and Trigona Spinis as pollinators according to their knowledge and perceive remaining insects as harmful (Marques et al., 2017). The communities were also observed to possess limited knowledge about species richness and role in the ecological process (ibid).
Another study was conducted by Smith et al., (2017) in the state of Orissa India to understand pollinators’ abundance in order to develop conservation strategies revealed satisfactory local knowledge on insects pollinators. The results revealed that communities were able to recognize some groups of pollinators including Amegilla spp, Apis dorsata, Apis cerana, one species of Ceratina sp and Xylocopa sp., lime butterfly and peacock pansy (Junonia almana). Apis mellifera, the western honey bee was least recognized insect as pollinator may be due to they are few in numbers in the study area. Majority of respondents were aware of the role of insects in pollination and the associated benefits such as an increase in crop yields. The respondents also associated the decline in pollinators’ abundance with the use of pesticides.