Advertisement

Ambio

pp 1–16 | Cite as

High overlap between traditional ecological knowledge and forest conservation found in the Bolivian Amazon

  • Jaime Paneque-Gálvez
  • Irene Pérez-Llorente
  • Ana Catarina Luz
  • Maximilien Guèze
  • Jean-François Mas
  • Manuel J. Macía
  • Martí Orta-Martínez
  • Victoria Reyes-García
Research Article
  • 156 Downloads

Abstract

It has been suggested that traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) may play a key role in forest conservation. However, empirical studies assessing to what extent TEK is associated with forest conservation compared with other variables are rare. Furthermore, to our knowledge, the spatial overlap of TEK and forest conservation has not been evaluated at fine scales. In this paper, we address both issues through a case study with Tsimane’ Amerindians in the Bolivian Amazon. We sampled 624 households across 59 villages to estimate TEK and used remote sensing data to assess forest conservation. We ran statistical and spatial analyses to evaluate whether TEK was associated and spatially overlapped with forest conservation at the village level. We find that Tsimane’ TEK is significantly and positively associated with forest conservation although acculturation variables bear stronger and negative associations with forest conservation. We also find a very significant spatial overlap between levels of Tsimane’ TEK and forest conservation. We discuss the potential reasons underpinning our results, which provide insights that may be useful for informing policies in the realms of development, conservation, and climate. We posit that the protection of indigenous cultural systems is vital and urgent to create more effective policies in such realms.

Keywords

Biocultural conservation Bolivian lowlands Ethnobotanical knowledge Forest fragmentation Indigenous knowledge systems Indigenous acculturation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was funded through a FBBVA research grant (BIOCON_06_106-07) to the project Conservación del Bosque Amazónico y Territorios Indígenas: del Conflicto a la Colaboración. Estudio de Caso en la Amazonía Boliviana. J. Paneque-Gálvez is grateful to Ricardo Godoy, Tomás Huanca, Pablo Domínguez, and Gerardo Bocco for providing comments on the original manuscript, to Juan Carlos Ledezma for providing GIS data, to TAPS for their assistance with data collection and logistics while conducting fieldwork in the study area, and to the Tsimane’ for their help and friendship in the forest.

References

  1. Alcorn, J.B. 1993. Indigenous peoples and conservation. Conservation Biology 7: 424–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balée, W. 2003. Native views of the environment in Amazonia. In Nature Across Cultures: Views of Nature and the Environment in Non-Western Cultures, ed. H. Selin, 277–288. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berkes, F. 1999. Sacred Ecology. Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource Management. Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  4. Berkes, F., J. Coldin, and C. Folke. 2000. Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management. Ecological Applications 10: 1251–1262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berkes, F., and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2006. Biodiversity, traditional management systems, and cultural landscapes: Examples from the boreal forest of Canada. International Social Science Journal 58: 35–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blackman, A., L. Corral, E.S. Lima, and G.P. Asner. 2017. Titling indigenous communities protects forests in the Peruvian Amazon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114: 4123–4128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bottazzi, P., and H. Dao. 2013. On the road through the Bolivian Amazon: A multi-level land governance analysis of deforestation. Land Use Policy 30: 137–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Broadbent, E.N., G.P. Asner, M. Keller, D.E. Knapp, P.J.C. Oliveira, and J.N. Silva. 2008. Forest fragmentation and edge effects from deforestation and selective logging in the Brazilian Amazon. Biological Conservation 141: 1745–1757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Büscher, B., and R. Fletcher. 2015. Accumulation by conservation. New Political Economy 20: 273–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ceballos, G., P.R. Ehrlich, A.D. Barnosky, A. García, R.M. Pringle, and T.M. Palmer. 2015. Accelerated modern human-induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction. Science Advances 1: e1400253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ceddia, M.G., U. Gunter, and A. Corriveau-Bourque. 2015. Land tenure and agricultural expansion in Latin America: The role of Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ forest rights. Global Environmental Change 35: 316–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coomes, O.T., F. Grimard, and G.J. Burt. 2000. Tropical forests and shifting cultivation: Secondary forest fallow dynamics among traditional farmers of the Peruvian Amazon. Ecological Economics 32: 109–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cruz-Burga, Z., V. Reyes-García, J. Alarcón Novoa, J. Paneque-Gálvez, and A.C. Luz. 2013. Uso de territorio e integración a la economía de mercado. Estudio de caso en la amazonía boliviana. Natura@Economía 1: 105–121 (in Spanish, English summary).Google Scholar
  14. Chowdhury, R.R., and E.F. Moran. 2012. Turning the curve: A critical review of Kuznets approaches. Applied Geography 32: 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Descola, P. 1998. The Spears of Twilight: Life and Death in the Amazon Jungle. New York: The New Press.Google Scholar
  16. Díaz-Reviriego, I., Á. Fernández-Llamazares, M. Salpeteur, P.L. Howard, and V. Reyes-García. 2016. Gendered medicinal plant knowledge contributions to adaptive capacity and health sovereignty in Amazonia. Ambio 45: 263–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dowie, M. 2009. Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict Between Global Conservation and Native Peoples. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Dufour, D.L. 1990. Use of tropical rainforests by native Amazonians. BioScience 40: 652–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Eijck, M.V., and W.-M. Roth. 2007. Keeping the local local: Recalibrating the status of science and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in education. Science Education 91: 926–947.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fairhead, J., M. Leach, and I. Scoones. 2012. Green grabbing: A new appropriation of nature? Journal of Peasant Studies 39: 237–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Finer, M., C.N. Jenkins, S.L. Pimm, B. Keane, and C. Ross. 2008. Oil and gas projects in the Western Amazon: Threats to wilderness, biodiversity, and indigenous peoples. PLoS ONE 3: e2932.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gadgil, M., F. Berkes, and C. Folke. 1993. Indigenous knowledge for biodiversity conservation. Ambio 22: 151–156.Google Scholar
  23. Gibson, L., T.M. Lee, L.P. Koh, B.W. Brook, T.A. Gardner, J. Barlow, C.A. Peres, C.J.A. Bradshaw, et al. 2011. Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity. Nature 478: 378–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Godoy, R., and M. Contreras. 2001. A comparative study of education and tropical deforestation among lowland Bolivian Amerindians: Forest values, environmental externality, and school subsidies. Economic Development and Cultural Change 49: 555–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Godoy, R., M. Jacobson, J. De Castro, V. Aliaga, J. Romero, and A. Davis. 1998. The role of tenure security and private time preference in neotropical deforestation. Land Economics 74: 162–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Godoy, R., V. Reyes-García, E. Byron, W.R. Leonard, and V. Vadez. 2005. The effect of market economies on the well-being of indigenous peoples and on their use of renewable natural resources. Annual Review of Anthropology 34: 121–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Godoy, R., V. Reyes-García, V. Vadez, W.R. Leonard, S. Tanner, T. Huanca, D. Wilkie, and TAPS Bolivia Study Team. 2009. The relation between forest clearance and household income among native Amazonians: Results from the Tsimane’ Amazonian panel study, Bolivia. Ecological Economics 68: 1864–1871.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gorenflo, L.J., S. Romaine, R.A. Mittermeier, and K. Walker-Painemilla. 2012. Co-occurrence of linguistic and biological diversity in biodiversity hotspots and high biodiversity wilderness areas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109: 8032–8037.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Harmon, D. 1996. Losing species, losing languages: Connections between biological and linguistic diversity. Southwest journal of Linguistics 15: 89–108.Google Scholar
  30. Herrmann, T.M., and M.-C. Torri. 2009. Changing forest conservation and management paradigms: traditional ecological knowledge systems and sustainable forestry: Perspectives from Chile and India. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 16: 392–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Huanca, T. 2008. Tsimane’ Oral Tradition. Landscape and Identity in Tropical Forest. La Paz: Wa-Gui.Google Scholar
  32. Huntington, H.P. 2000. Using traditional ecological knowledge in science: Methods and applications. Ecological Applications 10: 1270–1274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kikvidze, Z., and G. Tevzadze. 2015. Loss of traditional knowledge aggravates wolf–human conflict in Georgia (Caucasus) in the wake of socio-economic change. Ambio 44: 452–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kingsbury, N.D. 2001. Impacts of land use and cultural change in a fragile environment: Indigenous acculturation and deforestation in Kavanayén, Gran Sabana, Venezuela. Interciencia 26: 327–336.Google Scholar
  35. Lambin, E.F., H.J. Geist, and E. Lepers. 2003. Dynamics of land-use and land-cover change in tropical regions. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 28: 205–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Laurance, W.F., T.E. Lovejoy, H.L. Vasconcelos, E.M. Bruna, R.K. Didham, P.C. Stouffer, C. Gascon, R.O. Bierregaard, et al. 2002. Ecosystem decay of Amazonian forest fragments: A 22-year investigation. Conservation Biology 16: 605–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lu, F., C. Gray, R.E. Bilsborrow, C.F. Mena, C.M. Erlien, J. Bremner, A. Barbieri, and S.J. Walsh. 2010. Contrasting colonist and indigenous impacts on Amazonian Forests. Conservation Biology 24: 881–885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Luyssaert, S., E.D. Schulze, A. Borner, A. Knohl, D. Hessenmoller, B.E. Law, P. Ciais, and J. Grace. 2008. Old-growth forests as global carbon sinks. Nature 455: 213–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Maffi, L. 2005. Linguistic, cultural and biological diversity. Annual Review of Anthropology 29: 599–617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mann, C.C. 2008. Ancient earthmovers of the Amazon. Science 321: 1148–1152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. May, R.M. 1984. Anthropology: Prehistory of Amazonian Indians. Nature 312: 19–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. McCarter, J., M.C. Gavin, S. Baereleo, and M. Love. 2014. The challenges of maintaining indigenous ecological knowledge. Ecology and Society 19 (3): 39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McGarigal, K., S.A. Cushman, M.C. Neel, and E. Ene. 2002. FRAGSTATS: Spatial Pattern Analysis Program for Categorical Maps. Amherst: University of Massachusetts. Retrieved from: http://www.umass.edu/landeco/research/fragstats/fragstats.html.
  44. Moore, J.L., L. Manne, T. Brooks, N.D. Burgess, R. Davies, C. Rahbek, P. Williams, and A. Balmford. 2002. The distribution of cultural and biological diversity in Africa. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 269: 1645–1653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nabhan, G.P., P. Pynes, and T. Joe. 2002. Safeguarding Species, languages, and cultures in the time of diversity loss: From the Colorado Plateau to Global Hotspots. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 89: 164–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nelson, A., and K.M. Chomitz. 2011. Effectiveness of strict vs. multiple use protected areas in reducing tropical forest fires: A global analysis using matching methods. PLoS ONE 6: e22722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nepstad, D., S. Schwartzman, B. Bamberger, M. Santilli, D. Ray, P. Schlesinger, P. Lefebvre, A. Alencar, et al. 2006. Inhibition of Amazon deforestation and fire by parks and indigenous lands. Conservation Biology 20: 65–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nolte, C., A. Agrawal, K.M. Silvius, and B.S. Soares-Filho. 2013. Governance regime and location influence avoided deforestation success of protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110: 4956–4961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ostrom, E., J. Burger, C.B. Field, R.B. Norgaard, and D. Policansky. 1999. Revisiting the commons: Local Lessons, global challenges. Science 284: 278–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Paneque-Gálvez, J., A.C. Luz, P. Bottazzi, M. Guèze, and V. Reyes-García. 2015. Breve historia del pueblo Tsimane’: Territorio, recursos naturales y gobernanza indígena. In Cambio global, cambio local. La Sociedad Tsimane’ ante la globalización, Amazonía Boliviana, ed. V. Reyes-García, and T. Huanca, 39–64. Barcelona: Icaria & Institut Català d’Antropologia (in Spanish).Google Scholar
  51. Paneque-Gálvez, J., J.-F. Mas, M. Guèze, A.C. Luz, M.J. Macía, M. Orta-Martínez, J. Pino, and V. Reyes-García. 2013a. Land tenure and forest cover change. The case of southwestern Beni, Bolivian Amazon, 1986–2009. Applied Geography 43: 113–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Paneque-Gálvez, J., J.-F. Mas, G. Moré, J. Cristóbal, M. Orta-Martínez, A.C. Luz, M. Guèze, M.J. Macía, and V. Reyes-García. 2013b. Enhanced land use/cover classification of heterogeneous tropical landscapes using support vector machines and textural homogeneity. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 23: 372–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Paneque-Gálvez, J., N. Vargas-Ramírez, M.B. Napoletano, and A. Cummings. 2017. Grassroots innovation using drones for indigenous mapping and monitoring. Land 6 (4): 86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pérez-Llorente, I., J. Paneque-Gálvez, A.C. Luz, M.J. Macía, M. Guèze, J.A. Domínguez-Gómez, and V. Reyes-García. 2013. Changing indigenous cultures, economies and landscapes: The case of the Tsimane’, Bolivian Amazon. Landscape and Urban Planning 120: 147–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Porter-Bolland, L., E.A. Ellis, M.R. Guariguata, I. Ruiz-Mallen, S. Negrete-Yankelevich, and V. Reyes-García. 2012. Community managed forests and forest protected areas: An assessment of their conservation effectiveness across the tropics. Forest Ecology and Management 268: 6–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Posey, D.A. 1985. Indigenous management of tropical forest ecosystems: the case of the Kayapó indians of the Brazilian Amazon. Agroforestry Systems 3: 139–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Posey, D.A., and M.J. Balick. 2006. Human Impacts on Amazonia: The Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Conservation and Development. New York: Columbia University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Raymond, H. 2007. The ecologically noble savage debate. Annual Review of Anthropology 36: 177–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Reyes-García, V., R. Godoy, V. Vadez, L. Apaza, E. Byron, T. Huanca, W.R. Leonard, E. Perez, et al. 2003. Ethnobotanical knowledge shared widely among Tsimane’ Amerindians, Bolivia. Science 299: 1707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Reyes-García, V., M. Guèze, A.C. Luz, J. Paneque-Gálvez, M.J. Macía, M. Orta-Martínez, J. Pino, and X. Rubio-Campillo. 2013a. Evidence of traditional knowledge loss among a contemporary indigenous society. Evolution and Human Behavior 34: 249–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Reyes-García, V., T. Huanca, V. Vadez, W. Leonard, and D. Wilkie. 2006. Cultural, practical, and economic value of wild plants: A quantitative study in the Bolivian Amazon. Economic Botany 60: 62–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Reyes-García, V., E. Kightley, I. Ruiz-Mallén, N. Fuentes-Peláez, K. Demps, T. Huanca, and M.R. Martínez-Rodríguez. 2010. Schooling and local environmental knowledge: Do they complement or substitute each other? International Journal of Educational Development 30: 305–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Reyes-García, V., J.C. Ledezma, J. Paneque-Gálvez, M. Orta, M. Gueze, A. Lobo, D. Guinart, and A.C. Luz. 2012. Presence and purpose of nonindigenous peoples on indigenous lands: A descriptive account from the Bolivian Lowlands. Society & Natural Resources 25: 270–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Reyes-García, V., A.C. Luz, M. Gueze, J. Paneque-Gálvez, M.J. Macía, M. Orta-Martínez, and J. Pino. 2013b. Secular trends on traditional ecological knowledge: An analysis of changes in different domains of knowledge among Tsimane’ men. Learning and Individual Differences 27: 206–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Reyes-García, V., J. Paneque-Gálvez, P. Bottazzi, A.C. Luz, M. Gueze, M.J. Macía, M. Orta-Martínez, and P. Pacheco. 2014a. Indigenous land reconfiguration and fragmented institutions: A historical political ecology of Tsimane’ lands (Bolivian Amazon). Journal of Rural Studies 34: 282–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Reyes-García, V., J. Paneque-Gálvez, A. Luz, M. Gueze, M.J. Macía, M. Orta-Martínez, and J. Pino. 2014b. Cultural change and traditional ecological knowledge: An empirical analysis from the Tsimane’ in the Bolivian Amazon. Human Organization 73: 162–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Reyes-García, V., U. Pascual, V. Vadez, T. Huanca, and TAPS Bolivia Study Team. 2011. The role of ethnobotanical skills and agricultural labor in forest clearance: Evidence from the Bolivian Amazon. Ambio 40: 310–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Reyes-García, V., V. Vadez, N. Marti, T. Huanca, W.R. Leonard, and S. Tanner. 2008. Ethnobotanical knowledge and crop diversity in swidden fields: A study in a native Amazonian society. Human Ecology 36: 569–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Reyes-García, V., V. Vadez, S. Tanner, T. Huanca, W.R. Leonard, and T. McDade. 2007. Ethnobotanical skills and clearance of tropical rain forest for agriculture: A case study in the lowlands of Bolivia. Ambio 36: 406–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rival, L. 1998. Domestication as a historical and symbolic process: wild gardens and cultivated forests in the Ecuadorian Amazon. In Advances in Historical Ecology, ed. W. Balée, 232–250. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Rudel, T.K., D. Bates, and R. Machinguiashi. 2002. Ecologically noble Amerindians? Cattle ranching and cash cropping among Shuar and colonists in Ecuador. Latin American Research Review 37: 144–159.Google Scholar
  72. Salick, J., and N. Ross. 2009. Traditional peoples and climate change. Global Environmental Change 19: 137–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Simpson, L.R. 2004. Anticolonial strategies for the recovery and maintenance of Indigenous knowledge. The American Indian Quarterly 28: 373–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Skutsch, M., J. Paneque-Gálvez, A. Ghilardi, A. Balderas Torres, J. Morfin-Rios, J.M. Michel-Fuentes, O. Carrillo, and D. Ross. 2017. Adapting REDD + policy to sink conditions. Forest Policy and Economics 80: 160–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Sobrevila, C. 2008. The Role of Indigenous Peoples in Biodiversity Conservation. The Natural but Often Forgotten Partners. Washington: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank.Google Scholar
  76. Sutherland, W.J. 2003. Parallel extinction risk and global distribution of languages and species. Nature 423: 276–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Vadez, V., V. Reyes-García, T. Huanca, and W.R. Leonard. 2008. Cash cropping, farm technologies, and deforestation: What are the connections? A model with empirical data from the Bolivian Amazon. Human Organization 67: 384–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Vergara-Asenjo, G., and C. Potvin. 2014. Forest protection and tenure status: The key role of indigenous peoples and protected areas in Panama. Global Environmental Change 28: 205–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. West, P., J. Igoe, and D. Brockington. 2006. Parks and peoples: The social impact of protected areas. Annual Review of Anthropology 35: 251–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Wiersum, K.F. 1997. Indigenous exploitation and management of tropical forest resources: An evolutionary continuum in forest-people interactions. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 63: 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Zent, S. 2009. Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and biocultural diversity: A close-up look at linkages, delearning trends & changing patterns of transmission. In Learning and Knowing in Indigenous Societies Today, ed. P. Bates, M. Chiba, S. Kube, and D. Nakashima, 39–57. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaime Paneque-Gálvez
    • 1
  • Irene Pérez-Llorente
    • 1
  • Ana Catarina Luz
    • 2
  • Maximilien Guèze
    • 3
  • Jean-François Mas
    • 1
  • Manuel J. Macía
    • 4
  • Martí Orta-Martínez
    • 2
    • 5
  • Victoria Reyes-García
    • 6
  1. 1.Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental (CIGA)Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)MoreliaMexico
  2. 2.Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia AmbientalsUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  4. 4.Departamento de Biología, Unidad de BotánicaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  5. 5.Facultat de Ciències i TecnologiaUniversitat Central de Catalunya/Universitat de VicVicSpain
  6. 6.ICREA and Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia AmbientalsUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain

Personalised recommendations