70 Years After Schultes: Economic Botany from the Andes to the Amazon
Gerique, Andres .
Biodiversity as a resource: plant use, land use, and nature conservation in Shuar, Saraguro, and Mestizo communities in outhern Ecuador.
The tropical premontane and montane rainforests of the eastern Andean slopes of southern Ecuador constitute one of the most important hotspots of plant diversity. However, this region contains some of the world's most rapidly changing landscapes due to deforestation. Most land conversion can be attributed to settlers or colonists, but indigenous peoples as well are turning to more intensive land use and are assimilating themselves into local and regional market economies. The experience in international nature conservation during the past decades has shown that, to be effective, biodiversity conservation in inhabited areas should serve the goals of both nature safeguarding and the use claims of the local population. The strategy could be to provide welfare through the use of forest biodiversity for local peoples who coexist with it under the philosophy "use it or lose it" coined by Janzen in Costa Rica.
Based on the foregoing, this study pursued the following targets: (1) to document the ethnobotany of the different ethnic groups who live in the area of study - namely the Shuar, the Saraguros, and the Mestizos - in order to avoid the loss of plant knowledge through possible acculturation and other modernization processes, and to identify species of economic value; (2) to analyse actual land use strategies; a better understanding of local land use allows for the development of income generating alternatives to current non-sustainable land uses. The last goal (3) was to evaluate the suitability of the implementation of agroforestry systems, ecotourism, payments for environmental services, and bioprospecting as instruments in line with the "protection by use" concept.
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1 - University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute of Geography, Kochstr. 4/4, Erlangen, 91054, Germany
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Maryland Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Time: 5:00 PM