Environmental and Ecological Knowledge Systems: Enquiring the Role of the System Observer.
Birrer (1999) identifies environmental issues as one of the fields where first order systemic perspective have strong development (i.e. modeling of environmental systems); however, it holds ambiguity when it refers the role of the system’s observer. This is because, since its origins, ecology pioneers promoted a complex, holistic and systemic approach to analyze the relationship between humans and nature (Odum, 1963); but, they did not always set the position of the observer explicitly within the system´s construction.
For us, the definition of environmental knowledge not only considers the biophysical dimension of nature, but as proposed by Hays (2000: 98), it also includes knowledge about collective decisions on the environment.
The session aims to collect and discuss papers which offer proposals and steps towards the analysis of the knowledge systems (KS) of nature, with a particular emphasis on the conceptual and theoretical papers which contribute to developing a new understanding of such system´s construction.
The session welcomes papers that review ecological knowledge systems, environmental knowledge systems, local environmental knowledge systems and/or other categories of knowledge systems of the natural bio-system, emphasizing a sociocybernetics perspective. This is, using systems theory and second order cybernetics (Geyer and Van der Zouwen 2006), concepts such as system reflexivity and second-order observation (Foerster 1973), issues such as self-organization, emergence, positive and negative feedback (Geyer 1995) and/or other means of reflexivity of the process as a way of understanding the process of systemic construction.