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Tag archives for biocultural diversity

Biocultural Conservation: the Antidote to Nihilism?

If there is one universal trend amongst the vast majority of cultures around the world in the 21st Century, it is an ever moving shift away from ancestral traditions. With the near exponential increase of the percentage of the human population living in cities, disconnected from the natural resources that shaped the lives and identities of their ancestors, there is grave concern amongst many observers that these ancestral cultures will be lost in the name of progress.

Celebrating the Ingenious Skills of Tribes

From the hunting peoples of Canada to the hunter-gatherers of Africa, tribal peoples have found ingenious ways of surviving over thousands of years. For many tribal peoples, continuous immersion in nature over thousands of years has resulted in a profound attunement to the subtle cues of the natural world. Acute observations have taught tribes how…

Conservation Biology and Artistic Expression

The decision to pursue conservation biology came after an incredible and intense 14 months of traveling through South America. There was no one moment or epiphany, no strike of clarity, just a slow and steady increase in awareness that I needed to work with the environment. The Andes, the Amazon, the deserts, the salt flats,…

Pulsating Heart of Nature: How to Ensure Our Collective Bioculturally Resilient Future

  The remarkable variety of life’s interdependent phenomena and processes — what we call ‘diversity’ — is being eroded by the modern forces of homogenization. The rich tapestry — woven from a countless multitude of mutually reinforcing strands of biological, cultural and linguistic relationships — is wearing out. Our increasingly fatigued world is losing its…

Land Use, Climate Change Adaptation, and Indigenous Peoples

By Kirsty Galloway McLean For indigenous peoples, resilience is rooted in traditional knowledge, as their capacity to adapt to environmental change is based first and foremost on in-depth understanding of the land. As climate change increasingly impacts indigenous landscapes, communities are responding and adapting in unique ways. In a recent statement to the Conference of…

Eliminate GDP and “Economic Growth” to Create the Real Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples Say

The planet is in peril, 3,000 scientists and other experts concluded at the recent Planet Under Pressure conference in London. Climate change, overuse of nitrogen and loss of biodiversity are just three of the perils threatening to make much of our home uninhabitable. World leaders will meet in Rio de Janeiro June 20-22 to address…

Traditional Slash and Burn Agriculture Sustainable Solution to Climate Change

Climate change is the result of not behaving in the right way, according to the isolated Trio, an indigenous people living in Suriname’s Amazon forest near its border with Brazil. “They see climate change as big problem. They say their forests are changing, deteriorating,” said Gwendolyn Smith, a project director for the non-profit organization Amazon Conservation…

Indigenous Peoples Can Show the Path to Low-Carbon Living If Their Land Rights Are Recognized

  Many indigenous peoples are living examples of societies thriving with sustainable, low-carbon lifestyles. Successfully meeting the global climate change challenge requires that much of the world shift from high carbon-living to low. This shift is daunting. Current emissions for Australia and the United States average about 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person. In…

REDD: The New Beast in the Forest Brings Hope and Threats to Indigenous Peoples

“REDD is the new beast in the forest,” said Patrick Anderson of the Forest Peoples Programme in Indonesia here at Climate Change Mitigation with Local Communities and Indigenous peoples workshop in Cairns, Australia. Deforestation gobbles up an area the size of Greece (13 million hectares) every year. As if that loss wasn’t bad enough, it…

‘Abriculture’ Using Forests to Feed Indigenous Peoples and Fight Climate Change

Forests can not only suck climate-heating carbon out of the atmosphere, they are also an important source of food for many Indigenous peoples. “Western food is making our people sick. Our bodies are adapted to eating bush foods,” said Seith Fourmile of the Gimuy-Walubarra Yidinji Nation of Cairns. Australia’s Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples…

Indigenous Peoples Needed to Meet the Challenge of Climate Change

  “Planning is not part of our culture. You just get up in the morning and do what you need to do for the day,” said Marilyn Wallace of the Kuku Nyungka ‘mob’ (aboriginal nation) in northern Queensland, Australia. “Bama,” people caring for their local territory, is an important part of aboriginal culture and identity,…

The Key to Addressing Climate Change – Indigenous Knowledge

We have the knowledge that can contribute to finding solutions to the crisis of climate change. But if you’re not prepared to listen, how can we communicate this to you? — Marcos Terena, Xané leader, Brazil. The precipitous rise in the world’s human population and humankind’s ever-increasing dependence on fossil fuel-based ways of living have…

How the BioBlitz Ties Us All to the Sacred Earth

Cecil Manuel, of the Cecil B. Manuel Inter-Tribal Dancers, shared his cultural and spiritual knowledge at the recent BioBlitz in Saguaro National Park. Among the dances he demonstrated was the Hoop Dance. “There are so many different stories that we tell about the dances. Different tribes have different versions of how they came about,” he…

Carving my Dreams into a Gourd: Mother Earth & Climate Change

Irma Luz Poma Canchumani (Quechua) is a traditional gourd-carver whose work is featured in the exhibition Conversations with the Earth : Indigenous Voices on Climate Change at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, DC) from July 22, 2011 through January 2, 2012. Mrs. Canchumani also participates in the exhibition as a video producer.…