Salt making revives Fijian traditional knowledge

Lauren Borders • 23 February 2021

Traditional knowledge systems are key to resilience building. Globally, indigenous communities habitate or use resources on some 22 % of land area, which harbors 80 % of the world’s biodiversity. Yet, in many small island developing states contexts, challenges such as changing consumption and migration patterns threaten the transmission of traditional knowledge systems. To understand the interplay between traditional knowledge, cultural identity and climate resilience, the Accelerator Lab in Fiji embarked on an experiment in December 2019. The Lab went to explore the traditional process of salt making in the Vusama village, on the southwest coast of Fiji’s main island Viti Levu. The Vusama village was the traditional custodian of salt making but had not practiced it for more than 50 years. The biggest takeaway of this experiment was understanding the power of traditional knowledge as a driver of change. Traditional knowledge is a means through which communities strengthen connections to their land and natural resources, and it promotes unity and social collaboration to build resilience in the wake of disasters, bringing together diverse groups, especially older generations and children. 

Read the original Exposure piece.