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Ethnobotany and Conservation Rattan harvest Southeast Asia.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethnobotany and Conservation Rattan harvest Southeast Asia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethnobotany and Conservation Rattan harvest Southeast Asia

2 Calculations $6330 – value of fruit and latex harvested per hectare per year in Peru $490 – sustainable harvest of timber – so total value of $6820 per year $3184 – tree farming in Brazil per hectare per year $2690 – price per hectare of cattle ranching land in Brazil $148 per year profit from cattle ranching per hectare in Brazil $564 worth of medicine per hectare from 30 year old forest in Belize $3054 worth of medicine per hectare from 50 year old forest in Belize

3 Map of the Caribbean Region

4 Movie poster for “The MosquitoCoast” - 1986

5 Belize Ecoregions

6 Belize Reserves

7 Belize Ethnobotany 1988, the Belize Ethnobotany Project was initiated to inventory, understand and conserve as much ethnobotanical data as possible in a country that is undergoing rapid change largely due to a loss of natural habitat and erosion of existing cultures as the nation becomes more westernized Over 2000 plant samples have been sent to the US for testing by the National Cancer Institute’s Developmental Therapeutics Program as it tests for anti-cancer and anti-HIV drugs

8 Belize Ethnobotany 1992 the Belize Association of Traditional Healers was formed and Rosita Arvigo was elected its president - this group has been active in getting land preserved because, as they say, “we can’t do our work without our plants” 2400 hectare “ethno-biomedical” forest reserve was set aside in June 1993 to preserve medicinal plants - it was intended to set aside an area where medicinal plants would flourish and allow young apprentices to learn how to identify and collect medicinal plants

9 Rosita Arvigo with Mayan healer, the late Don Elijo Panti - Belize

10 Rosita Arvigo with herbalist Leopoldo Romero on left and Michael Balick in center - Belize


12 Map of Western Samoa and Savaii Island

13 Falealupo Covenant - 1989 Funds donated from Forever Living Products from Phoenix, Arizona, and Murdock International in Springville, Utah and a firm that dealt in antique botanical prints – James McCewan and Associates of London Donors renounced any rights to or interest in the rainforest and land and pledged to build the school in exchange for the village promising to protect the rainforest for 50 years Covenant allows ethnobotanists to investigate medicinal plants in the forest but mandates that 33 percent of any income from any commercial discoveries be returned to the village

14 Falealupo Rain Forest Preserve – Savaii Island

15 Homolanthus nutans – source of anti-HIV drug prostratin

16 Prostratin Prostratin, a protein kinase C activator, was isolated from the stems of the small Samoan tree Homalanthus nutans. H. nutans plays an important role in Samoan ethnopharmacology: the leaves are used to treat back pain, the root is used to treat diarrhea and the stem wood is used to treat yellow fever

17 Ake Lilo prepares H. nutans bark for use in traditional medicine for hepatitis - Samoa

18 Map of Western Samoa and Savaii Island

19 Tafua Rainforest Preserve A new foundation, Seacology, was formed to help preserve Pacific island rain forests and culture. Obtained funding from Swedish Nature Foundation and World Wildlife Fund that established Tafua Rain Forest Reserve and allowed a school and other village improvements to be built in Tafua.

20 Future of Ethnobotanical Conservation There are two main concerns for ethno- conservation efforts - one is to preserve the land necessary for survival of indigenous people and the plants and animals they use The other is the preservation of indigenous cultures itself

21 Future of Ethnobotanical Conservation C. Earle Smith has said that: “Ethnobotany is the sum total of human subsistence knowledge. Without a thorough understanding of the world’s plant resources, the human race would cease to exist.”

22 Brazil nut tree – Bertholletia excelsa

23 A castañero – Brazil Nut collector with pile of nut pods

24 Open Brazil Nut pod showing the many nuts it contains

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