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Ethnobiology Letters
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.317
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 0  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2159-8126
Published by Society of Ethnobiology Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Doing Conservation Differently: Toward a Diverse Conservations Inventory

    • Authors: Maris Gillette, Daniela Shebitz, Benedict Singleton
      Pages: 1–9 - 1–9
      Abstract: Many scientists and environmental activists argue that the scale and scope of contemporary conservation must increase dramatically if we are to halt biodiversity declines and sustain a healthy planet. Yet conservation as currently practiced has faced significant critique for its reliance on reductionist science, advocacy of “fortress”-like preservation measures that disproportionately harm marginalized communities, and integration into the global capitalist system that is the root cause of environmental degradation. The contributions to this special issue, developed from a panel at the Anthropology and Conservation conference co-hosted by the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Society of Ethnobiology in October 2021, collectively argue for what we, borrowing from Gibson-Graham’s diverse economies framework, call “doing conservation differently.” By bringing marginalized, hidden, and alternative conservation activities to light, researchers can contribute, in the spirit of Gibson-Graham’s work, to making these diverse conservations more real and credible as objects of policy and activism. This special issue contributes to inventorying the diverse conservations that already exist, which opens new spaces for ethical intervention and collective action.
      PubDate: 2023-05-31
      DOI: 10.14237/ebl.14.2.2023.1835
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2023)
  • Rooted in the Mangrove Landscape: Children and their Ethnoichthyological
           Knowledge as Sentinels for Biodiversity Loss in Northern Guinea-Bissau

    • Authors: Pieter-Jan Keleman, Marina Padrão Temudo, Rui Moutinho Sá
      Pages: 10–2 - 10–2
      Abstract: Biomonitoring fish species losses in data-deficient estuaries of West Africa can be facilitated by consulting small-scale fishermen as on-the-spot sentinels. Children are often prominent fishing actors in rural societies, but scientific studies looking at their ethnoichthyological knowledge are lacking. This study examines childhood fish knowledge inside a Diola village in Northern Guinea-Bissau, discussing how gendered division of labor affects the distribution of such knowledge. By using a photo-based identification methodology supplemented with participant observation and key informant interviews, we compare differences in children’s knowledge, perceptions of their mangrove environment, and associated fish diversity. The results show: a) a high level of ethnoichthyological knowledge among the children; b) girls identified fewer fish species than boys; c) both boys and girls show difficulties in correctly naming the fish less visible in the local mangrove ecosystem. We highlight the importance of children’s participation in landscape use and maintenance for their cognitive development. Additionally, we conclude that the assessment of children’s endogenous knowledge is important for biological conservation, securing fish diversity, and sustainable exploitation efforts in mangrove socio-ecosystems while respecting local bio-cultural identity.
      PubDate: 2023-05-31
      DOI: 10.14237/ebl.14.2.2023.1826
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2023)
  • Cultivating the Unseen: Paʻakai and the Role of Practice in Coastal

    • Authors: Gina McGuire, Alexander Mawyer
      Pages: 22–3 - 22–3
      Abstract: This piece centers itself in paʻakai (seasalt) practices as providing a critical lens for an ethnoecology of the rural Puna coastline on the island of Hawaiʻi. Grounded by ethnographic engagement with ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) tradition, interweaving moʻolelo (stories) from kūpuna (ancestors, elders) alongside contemporary praxis in Puna, Hawaiʻi Island, we explore the role of paʻakai gathering, limu (seaweed) provisioning, and offshore spring water collection in what we are calling coastal care—the reciprocal relationship of care between communities and coasts. Hawaiian cultural practices around paʻakai are a striking home for biocultural linkages including practitioners’ understandings of human and other-than-human wellbeing that exemplify the diversity of cultural dimensions tangibly present in coastal places. Highlighting the plurality of roles culture plays in the sustainable stewardship and wellbeing of coastal places and communities, this work contributes to ongoing discourses around the role of human dimensions in coastal conservation and management. Here we use water, pa‘akai, and limu to make visible what we call the “unseen realm” within contemporary conservation—the persistent blind spots around Indigenous and local culture(s) within conservation policy, planning, and enactment. Encouraging conservation and island sustainability scientists and practitioners to better engage with their blind spots, we identify the need for collaborative coastal management inclusive of ʻŌiwi practices and understandings of coastal care with implications for coastal studies in Hawai‘i and in other Indigenous contexts across Oceania.
      PubDate: 2023-05-31
      DOI: 10.14237/ebl.14.2.2023.1825
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2023)
  • Let it Grow (Back): A Call for the Conservation of Secondary Forests as
           Medicinal Plant Habitat

    • Authors: Daniela J. Shebitz, Lindsey Page Agnew, Steven Kerns, Angela Oviedo, Juyoung Ha
      Pages: 37–4 - 37–4
      Abstract: Costa Rica is widely regarded as a global leader in conservation practices. In the Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge (MNWLR), within Costa Rica’s Northern Zone, a strong commitment to conservation has led to protecting highly biodiverse mature forests. However, a significant opportunity to strengthen conservation in this region is being overlooked at a great cost to the local community and environment: the protection of regenerating secondary forests. Secondary forests account for over 50% of global tropical forests and serve vital ecological and cultural functions. Within the MNWLR, many species in the secondary forests provide medicinal value to the rural communities where western medical care is difficult to access. Recent research, however, has shown that secondary forests in Costa Rica are re-cleared within 20 years, before they have accumulated the previously lost biomass and biodiversity. In this paper, we call for conservation and management strategies to incorporate community held knowledge about culturally significant species, and for there to be economic incentives for keeping secondary forests intact and for determining which forests are designated as Protected Areas. We discuss previous research with two trees that are common in secondary forests in the MNWLR (Vismia macrophylla and Pentaclethra macroloba), recognizing that these are some of the many species that have great potential to both the ecological and social communities. While our focus area is in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica, the integration of community use and local knowledge into conservation should be a global priority.
      PubDate: 2023-05-31
      DOI: 10.14237/ebl.14.2.2023.1831
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2023)
  • The Challenges of Symmetrical Dialogue: Reflections on Collaborative
           Research in Northeast Brazil

    • Authors: Paride Bollettin, Charbel N. El-Hani, David Ludwig
      Pages: 47–5 - 47–5
      Abstract: This article explores ways to promote symmetrical dialogue among knowledge-practices of artisanal fishing communities, primary education teachers, and academic researchers in the state of Bahia, Brazil. We describe multiple engagements in an inter- and transdisciplinary project that integrates research, educational, and conservation activities in two communities living in an estuarine ecosystem. Most community members dedicate their efforts to fishing activities, harboring wide knowledge about local biocultural diversity. The project promotes collaborative inclusion of local expertise and knowledge in school activities, while also striving for the inhabitants’ inclusion in the planning of protected areas. The collaboration aims at symmetrical dialogues between researchers and communities that support self-determination in local school education and biodiversity conservation. Challenges to such symmetrization, including disagreements and tensions among diverse actors, not only appear in encounters of local and academic knowledge, but also within the interdisciplinary project involving natural sciences, social sciences, and philosophy.
      PubDate: 2023-05-31
      DOI: 10.14237/ebl.14.2.2023.1836
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2023)
  • The Skarù·ręʔ (Tuscarora) Food Forest Project—Reconciliation in
           Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education through Cross-Cultural
           Agroforestry Demonstration

    • Authors: Samantha Bosco, Bradley Thomas
      Pages: 56–7 - 56–7
      Abstract: Temperate nut trees have long been utilized in eastern North America, providing high quality food, durable materials, and contributing to multispecies relationships across geographic and cultural landscapes. While not widely consumed today, renewed interest in temperate nuts such as hybrid chestnuts and hazelnuts, are part of efforts to realize nature-based solutions to climate change, which include multifunctional agroforestry systems. Indigenous peoples’ contributions to agroforestry and climate resilience are substantial, however sustainable agricultural research often overlooks critical social justice implications underlying the history of colonization in settler nations, including dispossessed land and appropriated Indigenous crops. As one of the most nutritionally dense plant-based foods, nuts were important components of Haudenosaunee foodways. Archaeological, ethnographic, and historical-ecological evidence indicate that the Haudenosaunee subsistence and settlement dynamics transformed cultural landscapes favoring such nut trees. The Skarù·ręʔ (Tuscarora) Food Forest was a community-based project demonstrating contemporary contributions of nut trees to Indigenous food systems in ancestral Haudenosaunee territories, today known as New York State. While domesticated crop polycultures (i.e., the Three Sisters) are iconic of Haudenosaunee horticultural ingenuities, temperate nuts are lesser-known woodland foods that can additionally contribute to food and language revitalization efforts within contemporary Haudenosaunee territories. Here we discuss theories and praxes informing community engaged approaches at the Skarù·ręʔ Nation. By addressing social justice concerns within agricultural science, we demonstrate how the Skarù·ręʔ Food Forest Project can provide a methodological testing ground for reconciliation-based and decolonial participatory action research that expands ongoing food sovereignty, community health, and education initiatives.
      PubDate: 2023-05-31
      DOI: 10.14237/ebl.14.2.2023.1840
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2023)
  • Conservation at Stake: Institutionalized Environmentalisms and Indigenous
           Knowledges About How to Protect the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

    • Authors: Laila Thomaz Sandroni
      Pages: 72–8 - 72–8
      Abstract: This paper aims to compare two different sets of solutions on best pathways for biodiversity conservation present in a specific territory in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, in southern Bahia.  We look specifically at three interconnected administrative instances:  the Tupinambá de Olivença Indigenous Land; the Una Biological Reserve; and the Una Wildlife Refuge. We show that different perspectives regarding what it means to preserve nature come into focus in this territory. These are intertwined with power relations that highlight the inequality in the legitimacy of different groups in decision making for environmental governance. We map the causes and solutions for biodiversity degradation proposed by two contrasting narratives: the Indigenous perspective and the institutionalized western science-based environmentalism developed by state agencies and non-governmental organizations that work with conservation projects in the region. We expect to equalize these contrasting perspectives that are commonly seen in hierarchical terms. We conclude by advocating for managing combinations of diverse sets of knowledge and for pluralism in conservation efforts that accounts for underlying power relations.
      PubDate: 2023-05-31
      DOI: 10.14237/ebl.14.2.2023.1832
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2023)
  • Mutiny on the Boundary' Examining ILK-Based Conservation Collaborations
           through the Lens of Rubbish Theory

    • Authors: Benedict E. Singleton, Maris Boyd Gillette
      Pages: 83–9 - 83–9
      Abstract: Many conservation researchers and practitioners argue that knowledges traditionally conceptualized as non-academic are useful for guiding environmental decision-making and stewardship. As demonstrated by the articles in this special issue, bringing Indigenous and local knowledges to bear on environmental conservation requires forging new relationships and, de facto, new political arrangements. In this article, we seek to clarify what is at stake in such efforts to change (or maintain) what counts as knowledge by applying rubbish theory to the volume’s case studies. Redrawing the boundaries of what counts as conservation knowledge in engagements between academic researchers and practitioners trained to “do conservation” according to western science traditions, on the one hand, and Indigenous peoples and local communities who possess knowledge generated in non-academic contexts, on the other, effects demarcations of expertise and so challenges existing social hierarchies. Unsurprisingly, tension emerges about how far such changes should go. By increasing awareness of the relationship between (re)defining knowledge and (re)configuring social and political hierarchies, we hope to make it easier for participants to manage such collaborations.
      PubDate: 2023-05-31
      DOI: 10.14237/ebl.14.2.2023.1830
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 2 (2023)
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