Chapter 5. Conclusion

5.4 Limitations

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government has perpetuated rhetoric suggesting that conservation methods used by Taiwan’s indigenous peoples are not suitable for taking care of the environment. Yet, this thesis points to the contrary, and it is suggested that the Taiwanese government take time to look over the benefits indigenous knowledge may have for conserving the health of the environment. One viable option would be for the government and indigenous people to work together to manage the forest through a type of co-management system. This thesis has discussed the role farmers and the use of their local knowledge play in maintaining biodiversity on their farm and in the forest. In this way, natural farming may be seen as a method of In Situ4 conservation, because farmers maintain species in their natural

habitats, in and around the farm and also in the forest environment. Although the creation of a reserve is also technically a form of In Situ conservation, the natural farm takes the idea one step further by assimilating local people into the conservation process.

Therefore, if the government were to pursue a co-management system it is recommended that they be open to integrating different indigenous knowledge concepts in the

conservation work. Also, a successful co-management system would include ample opportunity for indigenous leaders to participate in the decision making process.

5.4. Limitations

This research is primarily a qualitative study based on interviews and fieldwork at the case site. Although this allows for more in depth interviews with participants, this also means the sample size is smaller and possibly more prone to bias. Furthermore it means that the data collected through this thesis may only be directly relevant to the Shi Lei farm, which only looks at one specific variety of natural farming. However, the methodologies used for collection of the data should be applicable to other similar cases.

A second limitation is the fact that the author is not fluent in either Chinese or Atayal, yet through recording of interviews and consulting with native speakers the author was able to overcome the problem of a language barrier.

4 On site conservation of species

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