Local and Indigenous Knowledge (LINK) is a set of customs, ethics, and beliefs practiced and passed down through generations in a community. People observe natural processes such as ebb and flow, animal behavior, and rain patterns and then relate them to disaster events such as extreme tides, drought, flood, and tsunami. For a very long time this indigenous knowledge has been an important element of disaster resilience in many communities.
However, only a small amount of the LINK existing among societies has been validated scientifically. This fact, coupled with high exposure to foreign cultures and global information, has seemingly washed away the indigenous knowledge from its inheriting communities. As such, efforts to validate LINK and revive its presence and practice are urgently needed.
The academia and research have the potential to contribute to this effort by conducting research with interdisciplinary approach. But it is not easy as interdisciplinary research is still a shortfall in the development of research in Indonesia, among others due to the regulation that stipulates field linearity in academics.
This policy brief is to offer recommendations for decision makers in the research world in Indonesia, either at the ministry and related agencies, higher education institutions, and concerning society organizations to integrate LINK into their disaster research themes and to promote the use of action-research method. Complete document (in Bahasa Indonesia) is downloadable below: