Uncovering Traditional Ecological Knowledge-based Behaviours in Modern Households: A Qualitative Study from Urban Pakistan
Keywords:Traditional ecological knowledge, pro-environmental behaviours, environmental conservation, urban households, indigenous wisdom
Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) has been established as a valid contributor to
environmental preservation in indigenous societies. Scholars have expanded upon this significance
to benefit urban and rural ecologies, with most work being done in rural and geographically remote
contexts around the world. In the urban context, academics have employed TEK predominantly to
societal landscapes, including city planning, architecture, and ethnobiology. Scant attention has
been paid to TEK manifestation in urban individuals’ lifestyles. Our research catalogues urban
household TEK practices, by studying modern-day individuals in metropolitan Karachi - Pakistan,
through a qualitative study design through thematic analysis. Data was collected through 21 indepth interviews of affluent and highly educated professionals, to document behaviours of a
conventionally non-traditional respondent segment. Findings demonstrated a clear presence of
TEK-based behaviours in modern urban individuals. These behaviours manifested in two types of
perceived advantages: environmentally beneficial, and personally beneficial. This study is among
the first to explore the adoption of TEK by urban individuals for environmental conservation and
answers the call for making TEK more inclusive to address current environmental challenges.
Keywords: Traditional ecological knowledge, pro-environmental behaviours, environmental
conservation, urban households, indigenous wisdom.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.