ABSTRACT

In this chapter, Adriansen argues that so-called academic knowledges are neither singular nor static. Changes in these knowledges and their hierarchies have implications for indigenous people and how their knowledges and land use are interpreted in a context of sustainable development. Adriansen uses an ethnographic study of mobility amongst Fulani pastoralists in Senegal as a case. Today their practices are seen as sustainable, but until the 1990s and the so-called new rangeland paradigm, the international donor community often accused pastoralists of causing land degradation. While this has changed and the academic community today recognises pastoral mobility as a flexible strategy that balances the variability in natural resources, the pastoralists’ epistemologies and own perceptions of mobility, nature, and sustainability still need to be understood. Thus, the chapter intends to deconstruct colonial aspects of Western academic discourses, while at the same time problematize how we can work with different knowledge systems for sustainable development in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals.