LEK project

LEK project, "The adaptive nature of culture: A cross-cultural analysis of the returns of Local Environmental Knowledge in three indigenous societies”, is a scientific research project funded by the European Research Council of the European Union. 

Using data obtained on the field among foraging societies from across the globe, LEK is testing test how adaptive is the locally-specific cultural knowledge in terms of the nutrition and health of those populations as well as the economic productivity of their foraging. Thus local knowledge that has evolved culturally can be assessed for its degree of adaptation to the local environment.

Ultimately the question of human cultural adaption to environmental changes is demanding deeper understanding. Is perhaps cultural evolution a positive factor for human adaptation to the environment? If so, does it have a maximum effective speed? Is our cultural evolution globally going to be able to adapt to the environment fast enough for sustainability? It is already apparent the LEK project will go some way towards improving our understanding of this line of enquiry.

The research group leading the LEK project is also one of the groups (G5) participating in the SimulPast project.  For more information on the LEK project please see:

http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/97604_en.html

http://icta.uab.cat/Etnoecologia/LEK/