When it comes to environmental conservation and sustainable development initiatives in tropical forests, indigenous peoples are key players,often described as either conservationists or destroyers of biodiversity. Such interpretations usually guide the design and implementation of conservation strategies. The central question about what makes indigenous peoples conserve or degrade biodiversity, however, has remained as a challenge,particularly in light of widespread trends such as cultural change, market expansion, and greater diversification of livelihoods. The reasons why indigenous communities end up degrading or conserving natural resources are addressed in an accessible manner in this book, filling a critical gap in knowledge about the socioeconomic drivers of biodiversity loss and the rise of community-based conservation, using the hunting trends and conservation efforts of the Wachiperi for this analysis. Readers could benefit from its findings on achieving both socioeconomic development and biodiversity conservation by engaging indigenous communities in a sustainable manner.
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Praise from reviewers:
“Clearly written and based on solid research, the book offers a bridge between those focused on environmental protection and those focused on indigenous rights.”–David Vine, author of Island of Shame
“An interesting and much needed input into the debate about indigenous peoples’ commitment to environmental conservation.”– John Renshaw, author of The Indians of the Paraguayan Chaco
“Recommended for anyone who has opinions about how indigenous communities affect their environment and biodiversity.” –Janis Alcorn, author of Huastec Mayan Ethnobotany
“An important contribution to Amazonian ethnology, and a solid piece of anthropology.”–Avi Tuschman, author of Our Political Nature: The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us