Best practices on indigenous knowledge’ refers to examples and cases that illustrate the use of IK in developing cost-effective and sustainable survival strategies for poverty alleviation and income generation. These include indigenous land-use systems to encourage labour-sharing arrangements among farmers, using IK to increase the fuel-efficiency of local stoves instead of replacing them, and using indigenous institutions by extending credit through existing village loan groups. In gathering this information, we are not interested in the details of the IK itself (for example, the technical specifications of the stove), but in the ways that it has been adapted, applied, and disseminated.
The idea of a Best Practices Database is based on the observation that carefully documented case histories can provide excellent guidelines for policy making and planning new projects. The aim of the database of best practices on indigenous knowledge and sustainable development is to encourage researchers and policymakers to incorporate indigenous knowledge into their project proposals, feasibility studies, implementation plans and project assessments, and to take indigenous knowledge and practices into account in all activities affecting local communities. We know that many people are working on projects in which IK plays an essential and practical role. It is very important that information about these kinds of projects is made available worldwide so that other people can learn from the experiences.