Breaking Knowledge Barrier: Fusing Traditional knowledge with Scientific Concepts in Communicating Ecosystem Services in Lagos Lagoon Complex, Nigeria

Prince Emeka Ndimele, Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria and Olubukola Adefolake Ayorinde, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Victoria Island, Nigeria., Extension, Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos is the emerging most populous city in Africa with a population of about 17.5 million people and annual growth rate estimated at 5.61%. The state is made up of 70% water, which ranges from fresh, brackish and marine ecosystems and about half of her population who live in the riverine areas depend on the aquatic ecosystem and the services they provide for social, cultural and economic sustenance. Therefore, aquatic ecosystems and the services they provide are important factors in the socio-economic development of the state and a good understanding of these benefits by locals is crucial for the effective management and sustainability of these water bodies. Consequently, this outreach programme highlighted traditional knowledge of some provisioning and cultural ecosystem services of Ologe and Lekki wetlands with a view to integrating them with science-based understanding of aquatic ecosystem services for effective communication of these services to the indigenous population. Ecosystem services are benefits derived from an ecosystem. Locals are aware of these benefits, which they have been enjoying since time immemorial. They may not know the science or processes responsible for these services, but they have local strategies and adaptive mechanisms when the delivery of these ecosystem services is altered. Indigenous knowledge or local knowledge generally refers to knowledge systems embedded in the cultural traditions of regional, indigenous, or local communities. Traditional knowledge includes knowledge about technologies of subsistence (e.g. tools and techniques for hunting or agriculture), midwifery, ethnobotany and ecological knowledge, traditional medicine, celestial navigation, ethnoastronomy, climate, etc. These kinds of knowledge, crucial for subsistence and survival, are generally based on accumulations of empirical observation and on interaction with the environment.