Western mercantilism continues to ignore the lessons aggregating since the Irish potato famine and before. From the ancestral Andean culture of cultivating hundreds of constantly adapting types of potatoes, the colonizers took one, maybe a few types, monocultured them and created a genocide. This from the peoples, dehumanized by the Doctrine of Discovery (still present in US law) and claimed to ‘be without souls’, needing to be converted to the domination ‘assimilation’ (sound like advertising today?).
There are universities in the global south that have been working to bring indigenous and local traditional populations’ practices not only into the science, but into human rights contexts. This because the industrial model has historically taken lands, by massacre, enslavement and other nefarious means - most recently by sheer scale of what are proving to be documented as legislatively and socially parasitic transnationals.
When a system is based on exclusion of the diversity evolved over billions of years, for a form of narcissism sustained only through extractive dint of force - that is what we end up with: degradation that we must work to document and expose and that is best done by becoming informed about and supporting the indigenous peoples and local communities.
This is not just about static possession of knowledge as propounded by western dominance structures. No real knowledge is static, it is social and relational, of the human spirit and highly integrated and adaptable. I would submit that this awareness is one of the inherent lights of the Occupy movement.