Traditional ocean knowledge and practices are crucial to understand the Pacific context and Pacific cultures. Traditional ocean knowledge and practices encompasses indigenous knowledge systems, particularly around indigenous ocean science, traditional ecological knowledge and cultural expressions of indigenous Pacific peoples as well as the knowledge and practices of local communities.
It also refers to traditional non-confidential knowledge and know-how, like ecosystem indicators for species protection and traditional early warning systems.
PCCOS works with existing structures and working groups to map traditional ocean knowledge and practices and include relevant elements to legal frameworks and decision support systems. This can include oral records of historical extreme events, catch evolution, coral bleaching events and recovery rates, or totemic species (like turtles, sharks, or seabirds) spawning and nesting periods.
As communication is a crucial element of early warning systems and critical to meet political and legislative aspiration of governments, PCCOS also supports Pacific Island country stakeholders in developing culturally sensitive communications in local languages integrating local artistic expressions and ways of being and knowing. It supports consultation activities with customary governing bodies and promotes intergenerational dialogues linking youth with traditional practitioners and ocean users.
This work is made while ensuring that intellectual property rights and Pacific cultural heritage are protected in accordance with the Regional Framework for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture and the 2022 – 2032 Pacific Regional Culture Strategy.