UNESCO and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), in the belief that this knowledge is essential to the preservation of places, to the protection of biological and cultural diversity, and to the dissemination of measures for mitigating desertification and climate change, have designated IPOGEA Research Center on Traditional and Local Knowledge as the implementing agency of a program of inventory, dissemination and promotion of the use of traditional techniques.

To this end Ipogea and UNESCO have hammered out a methodology for the classification of local values (SITTI – Iconograrphic System of Traditional and Innovative Techniques) and the creation of readily accessible archives and data banks (TKWB – Traditional Knowledge World Bank) that allow the memory and values of specific places to be preserved, and that provide operational tools for the organization of territorial parks.

SITTI is a technical operating system through which all information under study is managed in a systematic manner. The iconographic system for cataloguing humankind’s heritage of traditional knowledge, which is divided by functional categories and types, makes it possible to form a visual picture of the knowledge and techniques that have helped create an ecosystem, and to forecast future scenarios. SITTI is not a container of undifferentiated data and evidence, it is an advanced tool that adapts well to diverse thematic analyses and to the needs of different operational contexts, forming a scheme of reference and a stimulus for recognizing and evaluating existing knowledge. SITTI makes it possible to assess ecosystem changes in relation to the disappearance or re-use of traditional techniques and to develop a variety of possible scenarios.

SITTI works in successive stages:

LEVEL I: Analysis and database

• identification of the study area

• identification of techniques and reference icons

• survey and analysis of techniques

• database organization

LEVEL II: Expert system

• broad territorial interactions (ecosystems, cultural landscapes)

• analysis of the integrated local knowledge

• historical stratification of local knowledge

• identification of appropriate innovative knowledge

• identification of landscape units and associated knowledge

• territorial Information Management System for determining planning scenarios

LEVEL III: Re-use and dissemination

• assessment of the effectiveness of traditional knowledge in comparison to conventional technology, specifically in relation to production of  CO2 and maintenance of biodiversity

• role of local institutions and local actors

• preservation, methods of restoration and dissemination

• socio-economic assessment of the re-use of traditional techniques and their innovative application

LEVEL IV: Scenarios and perspectives

• conclusions and scenarios

• guidelines for dissemination

• archival resources

• bibliographic resources

• contacts