2003 - Volume 1 : Ethnobotany Research and Applications

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    Tobacco Basket
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003) Stevens, Michelle L.
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    Emerging Synergies Between Information Technology and Applied Ethnobotanical Research
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003) Thomas, Michael B.
    Ethnobotanical research has historically played a vital role in humankinds understanding of the relationship between people and the biological environment. Today, it remains a rapidly growing field of research, gaining professional, student and public interest both within the US and internationally. Ethnobiologists have however been very slow to adopt and apply tools of the informatics revolution and to integrate research data collaboratively. If ethnobotany is to continue to develop as a discipline, what is needed in the near future is not only a continued effort to promote collaborative ethnobotanical research but also to develop an initiative to bridge the digital gap between ethnobiologists and emerging bioinformatics tools. Through an improved understanding of the application of information technologies and the traditional ethnobotanical research model, tomorrow’s scientists may better record and compare traditional botanical knowledge (TBK). This integration would greatly assist in stemming the tide of the unprecedented loss of global bio-cultural diversity in the twenty-first century.
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    Back To The Future: Using Traditional Knowledge to Strengthen Biodiversity Conservation in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
    (Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003) Raynor, Bill ; Kostka, Mark
    Pohnpei's traditional belief system strongly supports conservation, but years of foreign rule and influence, population growth, excessive US aid, shift to a cash economy and other factors have combined to weaken the islanders' conservation ethic. The result has been a rapid decline in biodiversity health, which has in turn led to a decrease in quality of life and increased dependence on outside assistance. Conventional government-led western style approaches to resource management were clearly failing, and in 1990, The Nature Conservancy, the local government, and other partners embarked on a program to involve the island's traditional leaders and other cultural experts in the protection of the island's upland forest watershed. After a difficult start, the program has focused on combining Pohnpei culture and traditional knowledge with modern conservation planning and management practices with some success. The result has been a unique community-based management approach that establishes local control over spatially discreet resources that are legitimately considered to belong to the community and the return of resource management and use to an autonomous, consensus-based decision-making process. In a sense, the approach is an act of reconciliation, reconfirming those aspects of both political systems that are considered legitimate. For the participants, it has been a valuable learning experience through which a uniquely "Pohnpei-style" approach - suited specifically to the island's social and political conditions - is being developed.
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    Te Hoe Nuku Roa: A Journey Towards Maori Centered Research
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003) Forster, Margaret
    Maori people have a unique body of knowledge that, while based on ancestral traditions, has adapted to meet contemporary challenges. While Maori knowledge is widely applied in Maori communities it is now increasingly being used in mainstream domains. This paper will focus on a project known as Best Outcomes For Maori: Te Hoe Nuku Roa Maori Profiles, a longitudinal Maori household project with a focus on Maori development in cultural, social and economic terms. This project is based on a cultural framework that has been formulated from 'traditional' principles. It provides a model for the interaction between Maori knowledge and mainstream social science practices and demonstrates how Maori knowledge and the Western scientific tradition can be used together to resolve critical failings in previous research and advance the aspirations of Maori people. It is just one example of how traditional principles are demonstrating their continuing value in contemporary Maori development. "The challenge today is to survive as Maori, to retain a Maori identity, while still being able to participate fully in society and in the communities of the world." (Durie 1997)
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    The Ethnobotany of the Yanomami Indians
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003) Prance, Ghillean T.