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The marks of prehistoric human societies on tropical forests can still be detected today. An international team of ecologists and social scientists has shown in a new study published on 3 March 2017 in the journal Science that tree species domesticated and distributed throughout the Amazon basin by indigenous peoples before 1492 continue to play an important role in modern-day forests. Levis et al. performed a basin-wide comparison of plant distributions, archaeological sites, and environmental data. Plants domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples are much more likely to be dominant in Amazonian forests than other species. Furthermore, forests close to archaeological sites often have a higher abundance and richness of domesticated species. Thus, modern-day Amazonian tree communities across the basin remain largely structured by historical human use. These new findings strongly refute the idea that Amazonian forests have been largely untouched by humans.

Carolina Levis et al. Persistent effects of pre-Columbian plant domestication on Amazonian forest composition, Science, 3 March 2017 DOI: 10.1126/science.aal0157

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A new book by +Alex Shoumatoff — a former writer and editor for The New Yorker, Outside, Condé Nast Traveler, and Vanity Fair who Donald Trump once called “the greatest writer in America” — chronicles some of Borneo’s staggering losses, including the rapid destruction of the island’s biological and cultural heritage, which he likens to a “biocultural holocaust”. Yet Shoumatoff also finds reasons for hope, including the inspiring efforts of activists and environmentalists like the famed orangutan primatologist Birute Galdikas and Penan tribesmen who are fighting to save Borneo’s last wild areas. Read the full story on +Mongabay.

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On March 15, New Zealand made history by recognizing a river as a legal person. Te Awa Tupua, or the Whanganui river, now has the same legal rights as a person after a long fight by the Whanganui iwi. The Whanganui iwi recognize Te Awa Tupua as an indivisible, living system that includes the river, the riverbed, the mountains, the people and so forth. I think it's wonderful to see such progress and thought members in this community might agree!
A New Zealand river revered by Maori has been recognized by parliament as a "legal person", in a move believed to be a world first.

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Our climate is indeed changing. Flood, drought, fire, wind and cold — extreme events are becoming the norm. From a water-first perspective, we are at a moment of truth.

To make the right choices, we must understand how and where the rhythms of water are changing. Then we can apply ecosystem-based understanding to adapt our practices to suit a changing climate.

Water is a core human interest upon which we can build collaborative cross-cultural climate change strategies. Adoption by hydrologists and water managers of #BlueEcology's concept of the water cycle would enhance Western science’s understanding of the hydrological cycle.

What we are essentially talking about is reconciliation: going back to the headwaters of where we got our relationships with water and with one another wrong; and then starting back down the river of time — this time together — with a full understanding of the importance of embracing a water-first approach to planning human interventions in the environment.

#WaterCycle #TEK #Science

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A Parks Canada project is reviving the traditional practice of clam gardening in the Gulf Islands. Clam Garden Project coordinator Skye Augustine explained how First Nations along the B.C. coast altered beaches over centuries for aquaculture. #Canada #BC #FirstNations #Aquaculture

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Deadline January 23rd: send abstracts for future Volume 6, Issue 1 of Summer 2017 of the Langscape Magazine edited by NGO +Terra Lingua led by +Luisa Maffi . Topic: "Through a Different Lens: The Art and Science of Biocultural Diversity". Contributions may take different forms, either text or artwork-driven—or, in this particular case, both:
- Thought pieces for our "Ideas" section
- Personal accounts, dialogues, stories, or poetry for "Reflections"
- Reports from the field for "Dispatches"
- Discussions of policy interventions or practical solutions for "Action"
- Photo essays, video essays, or other visual art for "Louder Than Words"
- Or surprise langscape with something different, and they will have to create a new section for you!

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Cẩm nang Cây thuốc cần bảo vệ ở Việt Nam (Nguyễn Tập)
Handbook of Medicinal Plants need protection Vietnam (Nguyen Tap)

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I finished my post in which I presented all the pros (none) and cons (many) on the subject "Fulacht fiadh - a cooking pit?" with this paragraph:

"So I think that we can safely say that fulachta fiadh were not used in the way the mainstream archaeology suggest they were used: for cooking large amounts of meat in troughs full of water heated by hot stones. The Bronze Age people who built fulachta fiadh had much more efficient ways of cooking large quantities of meat at their disposal."

But what about the troughs? Every fulachta fiadh had a trough, so they must have been used for something. But if not for cooking, what were they used for?

In my next few posts I will like to propose what the troughs could have been used for.

In this post I would like to propose that one of the possible efficient (very important) uses of the Fulacht fiadh's troughs could have been acorn leaching.

You can read more here:

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This video explores the importance of this coastal place to the #Heiltsuk and highlights an ongoing collaborative project that combines Western science with traditional knowledge to tell the story of Hauyat.

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Science Writer Chris Clarke often wrties about the native peoples of California who are bot well known by most of the rest of the world. When people from other places on Earth think of Native Americans, they most often have images from memory of scenes remembered from a Hollywood movie. But my personal pursuit of California Tribes is what originally got me interested in California native plants which has later expanded my interests globally. BNut here is the reality of what happened to those peoples summed up in Chris Clarke's article below. Very informative and illustrative of similar scenarios of other indigenous peoples around the globe who had tradtional connections to their lands.
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