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Numerous examples from all time periods illustrate the topics and emphasise the universal nature of the interpretive framework. The volume is to be commended for its breadth and depth of detail and debate, and the publishers are to be congratulated for the inclusion of such a good quality and explicitly human volume within a broader ecological studies series. Indeed, Schutkowski's synthesis succeeds on a number of fronts and is an important contribution that students of human ecology and archaeology will no doubt heed for years to come.

The book explores a wide diversity of case studies within a theoretical systems-based framework. History, concepts, and prospects. Towards a biocultural Human Ecology. View other products from the same publisher. Promote your book on NHBS. Searching and Browsing for Books.


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The ecosystem health literature e. The term ecosystem health can be used without reference to feedbacks with people, though some authors do recognize these links Tiwari et al. In addition, the use of well-being encourages a focus not just on the absence of physical illness or decline in ecosystem state, but also on less easily translated elements such as connection to place, or mental and spiritual well-being of nonhumans West Again, New Zealanders are pioneering.

The Whanganui River is also granted legal personhood i. But how can a land or a river talk, express its discontent—or the opposite—its well-being? These no-longer-missing actors are still mute. Stone [] , a legal scholar, has already raised this issue: Lawyers can speak for corporations or municipalities, so they can do the same for nature in the name of guardians.

Even though they are not currently recognized by law, the deities inhabiting the sacred forests and mountains in Tibet have spoken to the Tibetan people through their shamans for millennia, thus maintaining a topocosmic i. Does this process once again impose anthropocentric values on nature by deciding what is good for nature and who can speak for nature? If the ventriloquist is not the IPLCs living with and for the river, should it be external specialists in ecology or global policy-makers?

Human Ecology: Biocultural Adaptations in Human Communities

Regardless of who speaks for nature, we sustain nature as humans prefer it, but in the Te Urewera and Whanganui river case studies, nature and humans can access the same legal status. Studley and Jikmed provides more insight and examples of how juristic personhood is bestowed upon nonhuman entities and nature. In most contexts, if IPLCs self-define human and ecological well-being, and choose relevant indicators via biocultural approaches, we advance toward giving nature a voice.

Biocultural approaches employ participatory methods for goal setting, identification of locally relevant criteria and indicators of resilience, monitoring, and evaluation, and continued adaptive management e. The process of selecting indicators for human well-being in biocultural landscapes, for example in Bolivia Escobar as well as in Ghana Guri and Verschuuren , shows that many IPLCs recognize a direct link between human well-being and landscape quality. Culture and spirituality form key areas for the selection of community-level indicators.

These authors provide examples of indicators for human well-being, such as number of sacred sites revitalized and maintained, or cultural festivals celebrated, among many others. The approaches differ significantly in the goal setting, problem identification, and potential solutions in comparison with conventional biodiversity conservation and resource management projects. Resulting resilience indicators will also undoubtedly differ depending on the stakeholders, as each ontology relies on different ways of seeing, ordering, ranking, validating, and categorizing elements of a system.

In contrast, agronomists note that very few clones of taro were introduced in the country, and they worry about the resulting narrow genetic base; most morphological diversity is due to mutations Caillon et al. A resilience indicator regarding the number of named varieties in a village will not have the same value depending on the background and interests of each actor.

All metrics of resilience reflect the values of the measurers and their ontologies, so it is important to attempt to accommodate diversity Pascual et al. Current methods that expand the breadth of resilience indicators available for decision-making in biocultural approaches include cultural landscape and community asset mapping, multispecies ethnographies, and the development of community well-being indicators for the conservation of biocultural landscapes Ens , Verschuuren et al.

Sometimes locally important, culturally grounded elements are less tangible and harder to measure than global ones, and we need to identify ways to equitably include them Nic Eoin and King , Satterfield et al. These may be locally measured and justified through local ontologies, but they are difficult to translate across scales; e.

There are ways, however, to mesh locally derived and internationally generated resilience indicators. For instance, results from cultural landscape mapping could be combined with other spatially explicit indicator compilations, such as the ambitious Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard developed by NatureServe , to better visually capture both cultural and biological elements of a system.

However, what remains a challenge is to determine action based on the indicators. By giving recognition to a diversity of ontologies, a new negotiation must occur to determine the indicators that significantly impact directions for collective action. This synthesis across ontologies is still a work in progress in most areas.

Similarly, development of indicators that focus on processes and not just outcomes is an emerging field and a critical part of biocultural approaches to indicator development. Most indicators focus only on the end results of such processes. By just focusing on the outcomes, one risks missing critical elements that contributed to those outcomes.

For example, in the Pacific Northwest of North America, in what is now British Columbia, Canada, humans over thousands of years enriched the terrestrial ecosystems Trant et al. First Nations resource use, as evidenced by shell middens in nearshore habitation sites, elevated the soil nutrient composition especially calcium and phosphorous, which are limiting in these forests otherwise , which led to better growing conditions for the forest as a whole.

Through intentional burying of shells from the intertidal zone and use of fire in and near habitation sites, First Nations altered soil chemistry and nutrient availability. In particular, Trant et al. Outcomes-based indicators would focus on the growth and productivity of the cedar and perhaps fail to capture the long-term process of soil nutrient enrichment through the creation of the shell middens—the generations of care that led to their healthy state.

In addition, an ecosystem services framework might emphasize the provisioning service that First Nations enjoy in terms of building materials from the forests, while overlooking the critical feedback from First Nations practices that enrich forest ecosystems. Thus, the processes encompassed by relationships between elements in a system need to be measured, in addition to the elements themselves. Indicators for capturing this process might be the number and frequency of additions to shell midden as well as the number, identity, and distribution of people who continue this practice of enriching middens.

Better attention to processes and feedbacks could help us sustainably manage resources and increase the well-being of both humans and nature. Characterization of the connections between humans and their environment, and how they evolve through time, is a product of ontological pluralism, knowledges, sciences, and the different relationships between humans and nature.

Working to understand how ontologies and local viewpoints, motivations, and behaviors can improve processes and outcomes helps ensure that people can react or adapt early to a change in a system and subsequently make it more resilient. We have argued that ecological well-being is an overlooked concept. Better accounting for how human and ecological well-being are inextricably related makes conservation approaches more socially just and equitable.

We identify some barriers to considering ecological well-being, including the western dichotomy between nature and culture, and a lack of appreciation for how different constructs of nature in different ontologies permeate our values and actions. Other viewpoints on nature and conservation exist: We need flexible frameworks and approaches that facilitate synthesis across different metrics, knowledge systems, and ontologies, and that contribute to the creation of a common ground, encompassing human and ecological well-being, on which a joint future for people and nature can be built.

Part of the material is based upon work, including workshops that convened scientists from different disciplines and with local stakeholders, that was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

We thank Christian J. Rivera for help in manuscript preparation. Political science and conservation biology: Indigenous people and conservation. Conservation Biology 7 2: In situ conservation of crop genetic resources through maintenance of traditional farming systems. Economic Botany 41 1: Psychological Review 4: Two-eyed seeing and other lessons learned within a co-learning journey of bringing together indigenous and mainstream knowledges and ways of knowing.

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Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 2 4: Correa, indigenous movements, and the writing of a new constitution in Ecuador. Latin American Perspectives Making the most of resilience. Mainstreaming the social sciences in conservation. Indicators of resilience in socio-ecological production landscapes SEPLs. Taylor and Francis, London, UK. Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management.

2 Cultural Ecology Theory

Ecological Applications 10 5: Developing human wellbeing indicators in the Puget Sound: The science and politics of human well-being: Ecology and Society 22 3: The threat of the Yrmo: American Anthropologist 1: The management of fisheries and marine ecosystems. Common ground between anthropology and conservation biology. Some general principles of biological and non-biological folk classification.

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American Ethnologist 3 1: Wakefield Press, Adelaide, Australia. Nature of taro Colocasia esculenta L. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 53 6: Rethinking values and the environment. Defining and measuring human well-being.

Pages — in B. Wyllie de Echeverri, and T. Ecosystem services or services to ecosystems? Valuing cultivation and reciprocal relationships between humans and ecosystems. Global Environmental Change The relation of Hanunoo culture to the plant world. Ecosystem health and ecological engineering. Island Press, Washington, D. Use of traditional ecological knowledge in marine conservation.

De quelques formes primitives de classification: Indigenous knowledge of the rainforest: Pages 87—99 in B. Human activities and the tropical rainforest: Springer Science, Dordrecht, Netherlands. Georgetown International Environmental Law Review 6: Monitoring outcomes of environmental service provision in low socio-economic indigenous Australia using innovative CyberTracker Technology.

Conservation and Society Putting indigenous conservation policy into practice delivers biodiversity and cultural benefits. Biodiversity and Conservation Community well-being in Bolivia: Pages 42—57 in B. Community well-being in biocultural landscapes: Are we living well?

Le savoir botanique des Bunaq: Pages — in M. Indigenous knowledge for biodiversity conservation. Defining biocultural approaches to conservation. Ecology and Society 22 1: Community well-being in Ghana: Pages 78— in B. Community wellbeing in biocultural landscapes, are we living well? University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. The legacy of cultural landscapes in the Brazilian Amazon: Using traditional ecological knowledge in science: The perception of the environment: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 26— Culture, kastom and conservation in Melanesia: What happens when worldviews collide?

Pacific Conservation Biology 23 2: The emergence of multispecies ethnography. Amazonian natures and the politics of transspecies engagement. Ecological mutualism in Navajo corrals: Journal of Anthropological Research Valuing ecosystem services in community-based landscape planning: Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs. Alternative indicators of well-being for Melanesia. Vanuatu Pilot Study Report. Te Ahukaramu Charles Royal, editor. Conservation and the social sciences. Biocultural approaches to developing well-being indicators in Solomon Islands.

Ecology and Society 23 1: Huia Publishers, Wellington, New Zealand. Local knowledge and contemporary resource management. Pages 59—79 in J.