A recent study by the LICCI team shows that knowledge of wild edible plants is differentially distributed across gender and life stages (adults/children). The study, carried out by Vincent Porcher in the southern highlands of Madagascar and published in the journal PLOS ONE, shows that certain sets of knowledge about wild edible plants are acquired during adulthood, while other sets of knowledge are acquired very early, making children reliable knowledge holders.
“Children have extended knowledge and know different species than adults. Children know an unexpectedly high number of wild edible plants which challenge our understanding of knowledge distribution in small-scale societies,” says Porcher, who adds that children cite introduced species more often, while adults cite more endemic species which might be an indicator of environmental change. They therefore stress the importance of future studies considering children when exploring local ecological knowledge.
“We have for too long ignored the knowledge of women and children, yet to respond to climate, environmental and biocultural issues, and it is essential to have a representative vision of traditional knowledge”, Porcher concludes.
Link to full paper: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0264147