This publication aims to build awareness for indigenous knowledge as an effective tool for reducing risk from natural hazard-related disasters. By improving the understanding of indigenous knowledge and providing concrete examples of how it can be successfully used, this publication hopes to inspire all practitioners and policy makers to consider the knowledge held by local communities and act to integrate this wealth of knowledge into future disaster-related work.
It presents a collection of 18 indigenous practices which were developed over time in the communities in the Asia-Pacific region from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Types of disasters include earthquake, cyclone (typhoon), drought, and slides, river bank erosion, tsunami and zud. The cases were chosen based on the following criteria: origin of the knowledge, its relative level of adaptation over time, its relationship to local skills and materials, its success in surviving or coping with disasters over time, and its applicability to other societies facing similar situations.