Thursday, December 14, 2017
     

tk manifest

The cultural and natural heritage is the basis on which the identity of individuals, communities, places, regional and public organisms, continental and intercontinental aggregations are founded. It is a determining component for the recognition and preservation of cultural differences and a prerequisite (premise) for solidarity and global creative exchange.
 
The achievement and perpetuation of the cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, and of the landscapes are due to that millenary complex of knowledge and techniques which the United Nations refer to as Traditional Knowledge and which the United Nations’ Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has defined as follows:
 
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.
 
Traditional Knowledge consists in the techniques and practices of common use on a territory for soil management, use and protection of natural areas, rural and monumental architecture and for organizing urban centres. It is the historical knowledge of humanity that has enabled building architecture and landscapes with a universal value, life and the creation of suitable human settlements in extreme conditionsand that still allows the subsistence of entire populations.
 
The validity of Traditional Knowledge, variously labelled to emphasize different connotations (like Endogenous Knowledge, Appropriate Technologies, Local Knowledge, Indigenous Techniques, Nature-based Knowledge, Sustainable Knowledge, Folk Knowledge and Cultural Knowledge) , and the use of practices derived from it are recognised by all the international organisms. Reusing Traditional Knowledge has provided attested positive results compared with other technologies. Traditional Knowledge protects the environment, is less polluting, uses resources in a sustainable way, recycles more than its wastes and produces and disposes of all residues in an environmentally acceptable way, more effectively than the technologies it replaces. Its technologies are enclosed in the capability and memory of individuals and groups and have produced solutions, techniques and structures common in each place and landscape. They are often simple works like water catchment systems, terraced slopes, soil protection and agroforestal management practices that are not adequately recognised and protected but which determine the existence and quality of entire ecosystems. They generally have a high level of work and know-how content and a low level of energy consumption. Reusing them, therefore, has a positive role in increasing occupation and in campaigning against poverty and in the prevention of environmental risks as well as providing a critical contribution for the achievement of the Millennium Goals. Traditional Knowledge does not consist in individual technologies but in a whole system that includes know-how and environmental awareness, appropriate procedures, sensitivity to social cohesion and solidarity, capability in the administration of community resources, services and equipment as well as organizational and managerial procedures and cultural, symbolical and spiritual values. They are therefore strictly connected with the Traditional Cultural Expressions and Folklore and with the intangible heritage, incorporating ethical and civil values.
Today, Traditional Knowledge is in danger. Its disappearance would not only lead to the loss of the 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. Therefore, those community principles and traditions that perpetuated the capability to develop the processes of environmental symbiosis and solidarity between cultures would also disappear.
 
The Region of Tuscany, a region that has always distinguished itself for the protection of traditions, artistic and scientific genius, quality of life, landscapes and culture, considers Traditional Knowledge as one of the basic components of its identity, nature and aims: promotion of cultural diversity and solidarity between populations; valorization and reproduction of local qualities; appropriate use of natural resources, water, soil and energy; pursuit of harmony in architecture and the environment; symbiosis between the space organization techniques, traditions, social customs and spiritual values; fusion between functionality and beauty. 
 
Enacting its institutional role as promoter of development and local innovation.
 
Recognizing, during the implementation of its role, that a greater integration between local policies and the actions of International Organisms is needed in order to achieve a participatory bottom-top approach to the planning choices.
 
It answers the appeal for the protection of Traditional Knowledge launched by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and ICSU (International Council for Science) and it promises to identify, preserve and promote the Traditional Knowledge cultural heritage.
 
With this purpose it intends to pursue the following targets:
 
i) Recognize, study and make an inventory of Traditional Knowledge
Communities, indigenous groups, territories and populations own a cultural heritage achieved through the Traditional Knowledge system. This has an intrinsic value on a social, cultural, spiritual, scientific, economic, intellectual, commercial and educational level and provides a chance for innovation and creativity for the benefit of the local community and of humanity. This knowledge is extremely fragile in comparison with the contemporary socio-economic transformation processes, considering both its methods of memorization and transmission and its exposure to the risk of piracy and illicit use. It is necessary to create an inventory through the Traditional Knowledge World Bank (TKWB) and a classification system that, together with the Internet, will enable an easy recognition, notification, dissemination and protection. The classification will consider Traditional Knowledge consisting in the techniques and the practices of common use on a territory for soil management, use and protection of natural areas, rural and monumental architecture and urban centres organization, while knowledge related to living organisms and genome will be excluded from the areas of operation given the very sensitive issue of economic speculation and piracy.
 
ii) Share and promote the dissemination of knowledge from the local level to the international level
Traditional Knowledge historically consist in the population’s widespread knowledge. The publication on the internet and democratic management of the data are intended to preserve this strong aspect of knowledge sharing. For this reason, it is necessary to implement and promote the dissemination of the Iconographic System of Traditional and Innovative Techniques (SITTI) promoted by UNESCO and UNCCD. The SITTI is not merely an undifferentiated data and evidence container, but it is also a sophisticated instrument that is able to adapt to different thematic analyses, to the demands of different operational contexts, to provide a reference grid and an impulse to recognize and classify existing knowledge. Through the SITTI a world network of scientists, experts and knowledge holders can contribute to the continuous enlargement of the classification and information structure. All data and each local community contribute to the realization of a global information-technology scenario by creating a global network of local actors.
 
iii) Assure the protection of Traditional Knowledge
Protection of handcrafts, techniques, structures, monuments, sites, manufacturing, agricultural and handmade products, landscapes and ecosystems that express Traditional Knowledge must be guaranteed as well as the affirmation of the respect for the communities and the people who hold knowledge, with particular reference to the diversity of cultures, minority groups and indigenous populations and to categories such as those of women and the elderly. Dignity and social status must be given to those work activities that are the expression of Traditional Knowledge and the formation and transmission of knowledge to future generations must be implemented.
 
iv) Promote integration between Traditional Knowledge and the scientific system
Each local technique is part of a web of links and relations that are strongly integrated, based on a global construction of correspondences and meanings. Therefore, Traditional Knowledge is not merely a group of isolated techniques but it constitutes a complex system of knowledge, appropriate solutions and culture. Traditional Knowledge is put into action thanks to a socially shared cultural structure: it’s the historically achieved system of science and local knowledge. In order to proclaim this principle, some Countries representing indigenous populations and their greatest concerns, prefer using the term Indigenous Science rather than Traditional Knowledge. It is well-known that the contemporary scientific system has often denied the validity of Traditional Knowledge, while the latter provides, and has always provided, a valuable contribution to science and technology. Indigenous Knowledge, not considered as science, has been the object of intellectual embezzlement and of real acts of piracy by academics and scientists. However, today the scientific community tends towards paying a greater attention to Traditional Knowledge. The integration between the two systems through reciprocal methods of recognition and validation is advantageous for the general progress of knowledge.
 
v) Defend the rights of local communities and indigenous populations holding Traditional Knowledge and indigenous science systems
Traditional Knowledge holders, local communities, sites with a high cultural value and indigenous populations must be enabled, through juridical and practical devices, to prevent Traditional Knowledge embezzlement, control its use outside its original locality, obtain the recognition as owners of the original knowledge and, where the use is legitimate, to have a guaranteed and equal share in the conceivable advantages deriving from their application. In order to protect and encourage local creativity and the rights of people and communities who hold Traditional Knowledge and innovative use, excellence lists will be formulated on the basis of the experience of UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
 
vi) Promote the dissemination and the innovative use of Traditional Knowledge
Traditional Knowledge has enabled societies, during time, to manage ecosystems in a balanced way and to create technical, artistic and architectural works that are universally accepted. These constitute a knowledge which is not fossilized on statistical beliefs, but they express a perception and comprehension of the world that are in continuous evolution. Traditional Knowledge has always been able to renew itself and to adapt. It creates a dynamic system able to incorporate innovation analysed in the long-term and respecting local and environmental sustainability. Using Traditional Knowledge does not mean directly reapplying the techniques belonging to the past, but understanding the logical reasoning in this model of knowledge. Promoting appropriate innovations today means building tomorrows traditions.
 
 
 
vii) Implement the use of traditional practices for the realization of works and participatory approach in the choice of technological infrastructures 
Traditional Knowledge and local techniques must be promoted in architecture, the landscape, agriculture and environmental protection intervention. The materials, procedures and resources must be, as far as possible, locally managed, compatible with the environment, recyclable and renewable on the spot. Choices must be shared and discussed locally, in order to overcome a top-down approach to technology transfer and to create a participatory relation able to foster sustainability.
 
viii) Promote protocols that adopt Traditional Knowledge in Parks, protected areas and UNESCO sites 
The recognition of local knowledge must lead the way to the adoption of reapplication and dissemination protocols. These can be enacted in Parks, protected areas and UNESCO sites in order to start appropriate management methods. The use of Traditional Knowledge makes it possible to prefigure a new development model and a technological dimension that do not contrast with history. For companies, old city centres, and parks to seize this challenge means confronting with processes, cognitions and capabilities that will be increasingly requested at international levels, anticipating necessary solutions to sustainable development and gaining attractiveness for cultural tourism and useful for the international success of its products.
 
ix) Contribute to the protection of traditional cultures and cultural diversity
Traditional Knowledge constitutes a determining factor of cultural diversity, that, as indicated in the UNESCO declaration, refers to much more than mere difference between cultures. Culture, in fact, assumes different forms in time and space. This diversity is enacted in the singularity and plurality of the identities of groups and societies that form humanity. As a source of exchange, innovation and creativity, cultural diversity is as necessary for humanity as biodiversity is for nature. In this sense it is part of the human heritage and must be recognised and promoted for the benefit of today’s and tomorrow’s generations.
 
x) Promote the realization of an International Convention and of a World Organism for Traditional Knowledge
Several International Organisms consider Traditional Knowledge to be strategic for their mission. However, despite all the work done, the exchange of information, the systematization of the issue, research and international action are inadequate. Therefore a specific Convention and the institution of an appointed organism becomes necessary. It will have the task of promoting traditional knowledge as innovative knowledge that will be advanced and appropriate for the elaboration of a new technological paradigm based on the values present in tradition. These are: capability to add value to internal resources and to manage them locally; polyvalence and permeation of technical, ethical and aesthetic values; production that is not an end to itself but is oriented towards the benefit of the community and is based on the principle that each activity must lead to another one without producing waste and refuse; use of energy based on continually renewable cycles; achievement of harmony, environmental balance and global co-existence; the aim of protecting ecosystems, cultural complexity, diversity and life in general.