Part 4 - Lore and Data
In Part 3, understanding local ecology was identified as modern biology's most urgent task.
The neighbourhood biology approach uses the methods from sciences and arts not just to create reports but to develop actions -- a new folklore and new customs among ourselves.
What is this folklore? Why, our own oral and written traditions about our local ecology. Some exists now, a thousand years old, thrown together from a number of cultures: Maori, Pakeha, Pacific Island and more. In this age, as in every one, this lore is ever ready for reviving and expanding.
This lore can be full of the practical details about relationships, just like any good gossip.
It can also be full of poetic power about process, just like any myths around the world.
Nowadays, scientific facts, those blends of observation and theory which we give so much credit to, are taking a place in all this gossip and myth.
What are these customs? Well for starters, the community based monitoring, surveys and other events which become in time part of everyday local life. And who can guess what else can develop?
There are many ways to get started, from within some group you are already part of or by creating a new group. Just as a personal interest or a family activity.
What neighbourhood biology offers is both a perspective and practical assistance. By identifying what we see as fundamental concerns in an everyday language, we can get a conversation going about where and how we live. This conversation can happen both here in cyberspace or there in your neighbourhoods.
And neighbourhood biology means business -- besides all the talk, there is also action to undertake. Collectively, we can share our experiences and advice about the how to. And we want to help others share their experiences. Thatıs why we use work both on line and in the field.
Maybe there is nothing like this in your neighbourhood. Make a start!
Maybe there are some programmes or projects in your neighbourhood already. Here's a chance for them to share what they are doing and to expand their scope.
Throughout the world, the community based approach is spreading, taking on its own special flavour in different countries.
Here in NZ we are just getting under way.
But it isn't easy to find to bring together ideas, opportunities, expertise and support.
Neighbourhood biology, on line and in the field, is a way to help bring together our efforts, improve our ideas and hone our techniques.
You are invited to join in.