Sunday, May 19, 2024

ITKNET Conference


International Network on Traditional Knowledge (ITNET) – Major Conference 

Place:  FLORENCE – Sala Giunta of Regione Toscana, via Cavour 18
Date: 28th -29th June 2007


Many International Organizations have expressed their interest in Traditional Knowledge during the main conferences on sustainability. On these occasions it was stated that it is necessary to classify, protect and disseminate Traditional Knowledge. The UNCCD Conference Of the Parties entrusted Italy with the mandate of organizing an International Network of institutions and experts on Traditional Knowledge and to create an International Centre.
The Italian Ministry of the Environment and Territorial and Sea Protection has signed a protocol with the UNCCD for the creation of the Centre on Traditional Knowledge in Italy.
The Region of Tuscany has offered to host the Centre in Florence and decided on the Villa Medici of Careggi as its location. While this is being restored the office is temporarily in the Region’s Presidential building. 
The UNCCD, the Ministry of the Environment and the Region of Tuscany have chosen IPOGEA to be the executive Agency for the Centre’s creation.
UNESCO and IPOGEA created an expert prototypal system  presenting a dynamic questionnaire based on an Iconographic classification system for Traditional Knowledge (SITTI), elaborated by IPOGEA, that guides the identification and classification processes of new knowledge.
IPOGEA is carrying out two network projects: one with the European Commission (RESOURCENET), on the use of Traditional Knowledge for a correct exploitation of Natural Resources and the other with NATO, on the use of Traditional Knowledge for security in the Mediterranean area.
Purposes of the Centre for Traditional Knowledge
Traditional Knowledge constitutes the ancient knowledge of humanity, the deepest layer onto which our science and culture developed, the local techniques that made it possible to manage and create ecosystems and cultural landscapes on the planet. It originated from resource shortage in pre-industrial societies where a strong social cohesion and environmental integration were main features. 

Traditional Knowledge represents techniques with low energy dispersal and resource consumption that adapt to variability and are flexible in responding to environmental emergencies and catastrophes.

Extraordinarily tenacious cultures managed to use locally available materials and renewable resources. 

They exploited solar energy and the principles of Nature: thermal insulation to protect themselves from heat and cold; hydrodynamics to collect and distribute water; biology principles to combine and re-use the elements that are needed to create humus and cultivable soil. 

They managed to control the strength of the wind, use the law of gravity and exploit the faintest sign of humidity to start interactive autocatalytic phenomena and broaden positive dynamic processes.

Today the world’s ecological balance system is in danger: 
Traditional Knowledge shows how to intervene without disrupting the environment and how to enhance its potential without exhausting the resources.
It is the bearer of the technologies disseminated on the territory that developed using everyday life materials and objects. It is constituted by fragile elements that are subject to today’s transformations but form strong and ingenious systems to produce energy, recycle resources, regulate the microclimate and manage the land that is still exploited in most of the planet.
This Knowledge is in danger and its disappearance would not only mean a loss of artistic and natural heritage but also of an extraordinary reservoir of knowledge and cultural differences from which appropriate innovative solutions can be derived.
Using Traditional Knowledge does not mean directly reapplying technologies belonging to the past, but understanding the reasoning underlying this model of knowledge. During time this has made it possible for societies to manage ecosystems, to create technologies, artistic and architectural works universally accepted but also to renew themselves and adapt to changes. Traditional Knowledge is a dynamic system capable of incorporating innovation that has been examined in the long run and at local and environmental sustainability levels.
The Centre promotes Traditional Knowledge as an innovative source of knowledge capable of elaborating a new technological paradigm based on the evolutionary aspects of tradition: the capability to enhance the value of internal resources and manage them locally; the variety of application and the permeation between technical, ethical and aesthetic values; production oriented towards the community’s welfare and based on the principle that each activity must lead to another one in a cyclical process without producing waste; the use of energy based on continually renewable cycles; the finality, also as an economical interest, of protecting the ecosystems, cultural complexity and life in general.
The Centre for Traditional Knowledge puts the demand for appropriate techniques to be used for exceptionally valuable sites, urban ecosystems and protected areas into relation with the supply offered by companies that work in this sector. The valuable sites are internationally recognized when the protocols for appropriate techniques are adopted. The certified companies supply the technology that is needed. In this way the long term protection of the sites is guaranteed in that there is no possibility of inserting processes, techniques, materials and destructive transformations and at the same time a network of companies oriented towards sustainability is promoted.
The aims of the Centre are the following:
  • To identify, study, evaluate, disseminate, promote and protect Traditional Knowledge at an Internationl level.      
  • To guarantee a partecipatory and sustainable approach to soil and natural resource management and the involvement of local communities.   
  • To develop an international cooperation in the field of Traditional Knowledge with the perspective of streangthening and implementing the multilateral environmental agreements. 
  • To make sure that Traditional Knowledge becomes an operational factor in the strategic local Policies and in the development of the global political processes. 
The Italian Ministry of the Environment, the UNCCD and UNESCO established two important moments for the creation of the Centre:
    1. 28-29 June 2007 – International Network on Traditional Knowledge (INTK) International Conference of Experts.The conference, organized by IPOGEA with the support of UNESCO, the Ministry of the Environment and the Region of Tuscany, will take place in Florence in the Sala Giunta (regional Council Hall) of the Region of Tuscany building in Via Cavour, 18. 
    2. November 2007 Institutional Conference to determine and ratify the long term objectives and institutionalize the Centre.
International Network on Traditional Knowledge (ITKNET)
International Conference of Experts on Traditional Knowledge
The topic of the Conference is:
CLIMATE CHANGE, DESERTIFICATION, ENVIRONMENTAL CONFLICTS AND MIGRATIONS – An international Network of experts on Traditional Knowledge for a common strategy
The conference will take place from the 28th to the 29th of June in Florence in the Sala Giunta of the Region of Tuscany.
The following people will be present:
  •  – the Secretary-General of UNCCD Hama Arba Diallo, 
  •  – the Director of UNESCO BRESCE Engelbert Ruoss, 
  •  – the President of the Region of Tuscany Claudio Martini, 
  •  – 30 international experts representing all the UNCCD regions, 
  •  – Italian experts from the Italian Panel on Traditional Knowledge, 
  •  – International organizations and the most important Research Centres on Traditional Knowledge.
Objectives of the Conference:
1.      Organize and consolidate an international network of experts on Traditional Knowledge
2.      Proposal of operational and institutional strategy for the creation of the Centre.
3.      Continue with the implementation of the Traditional Knowledge classification structure and expert system, disseminate and share it with other Countries.
Recommendations and conclusions will be transmitted to the Committee on Science and Technology (CST), and to the Conference of the Parties (COP) CST/COP 8 that will take place in Madrid from the 3rd to the 12th of September 2007.