A database for traditional knowledge of weather and climate in the Pacific


Growing interest in traditional knowledge (TK), particularly in relation to the prediction of weather or climate extremes, raises issues concerning the appropriate storage and management of the information collected. The Traditional Knowledge Database (TK Database) for the storage and use of TK associated with weather and climate prediction in the Pacific was designed with the following principles in mind: (1) preservation of the knowledge, maintaining cultural context wherever possible; (2) respect for intellectual property and cultural sensitivities around data sharing and use; (3) appropriate
system design, accounting for ongoing costs of system maintenance and often intermittent Internet access; and (4) moving beyond data preservation to ensure continued use and growth of the TK. The TK Database was successfully deployed to four countries in the south Pacific and is regularly used by their national meteorological services, and partner organizations, both to preserve TK related to weather and climate and as a tool to assist in monitoring the TK indicators. As the first database of its kind, the TK Database fills a critical gap in the appropriate storage and application of TK and provides an important foundation for future developments.

Lynda E. Chambers, Roan D. Plotz, Tom Dossis, David H. Hiriasia, Philip Malsale, David J. Martin, Rossy Mitiepo, Khadiza Taheraa and Tile I. Tofaeonoe
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