Traditional ecological knowledge and sustainable development


Maria Cristina Teixeira Braga Messias

Models of sustainable development need to be based on the relationship between humans and nature. On this point of view the well-being of a community need to ensure economic development associated with the conservation of the environment as well as the social and cultural aspects of the people. Traditional peoples' knowledge (TEK) about plants, animals, environmental phenomena and ecosystem management is very rich in tropical countries and should be used as tools for ecological management. In the Quadrilátero Ferrífero, Brazil, the multiethnic community, formed by the miscegenation of Indians, Europeans and Africans, lead to a high diversity of TEK, encompassing useful plants and natural resources management. Areas used for mining, have soils with particular aspects, usually without agricultural aptitude and presenting levels of soil elements that can prevent or hinder the rehabilitation of degraded areas. People living in these regions have demonstrated ability to manage these areas, with knowledge acquired mainly by orality, over the generations. Plants stand out among the managed resources, used for various purposes, such as food, medicinal, ornamental, logging, fodder, among other uses. The registration and analysis of traditional knowledge has shown, in several regions of the world, including Brazil, an important tool both for the conservation of both - the environment and the culture of the peoples. This set of praxis is of fundamental importance in areas of mineral exploration, and can be included in practices for the rehabilitation of degraded areas, establishment of priority areas for conservation and guarantee diversification of land use.

Research category
Academic. Pre and post mining activity
Main disciplines
Botany, Ethnobotany, Anthropology, Ecology
Main topics
Ethnobotany, Human Ecology
Reasearch team
  • Maria Cristina Teixeira Braga Messias, Ph.D. Botany , Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto
Public academic partners
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais - FAPEMIG; Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - CAPES
Private industrial partners
Non spécifié
Civil society partners
Non spécifié
Public stakeholders and collectivities
Non spécifié
Project duration
Non spécifié

Project valorisation

Publication in which journal, colloquiums, national or international restitution workshops, books, film *
Publication in Scientific Journals, National and International Scienfic Seminars from Society of Ecological Restoration, Brazilian Society of Ecological Restoration, Ethnobiology, Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology Society Seminars.