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.
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    Medicinal Plant Use in Reproductive Health Disorders
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003) Ramihantaniariyo, Herlyne ; Ramambazafy, Richard F. ; Quansah, Nat
    Information gathered on the behavior of outpatients with regards to treating reproductive health disorders is reported. The information was gathered at the Reproductive Health Unit, University Training Hospital / 'Institut Hygiene Sociale', Antananarivo, Madagascar during the six-month period of May - October 1999. Gonorrhea (42.51%) and genital ulcer (13.18%) of cases were the dominant reproductive health disorders presented by patients. 50.83% of the 358 patients suffering from gonorrhea and 39.63% of the 111 patients with genital ulcer used medicinal plants to treat their disorders. The results obtained from examining these patients at the hospital seem to reveal a justification of their use of medicinal plants for these reproductive health problems. All patients who took medicinal plants in both cases of gonorrhea and genital ulcer showed none of the reported disorders. The need to identify the plants used by these patients in order to explore the wider and safe use for these reproductive health disorders is called for. Similarly (and probably more importantly) is the need to look for those prescribing these plants (the traditional medical practitioners) so as to find out ways to enable them to work in partnership with the modern medical practitioner in the area of reproductive health.
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    A Practitioners Perspectives: Traditional Tannin-Treatment Against Intestinal Parasites in Sheep and Cattle
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003) Aas, Eilif
    Around the world indigenous groups have traditionally used leaves, bark and roots containing tannins to treat diarrhea and intestinal parasites in humans and livestock. Traditional veterinary medicine has largely been replaced by pharmaceuticals throughout most of the world. My aim is to revitalize traditional veterinary practices and connect them to novel research. This study includes a literature review based mostly on three articles about condensed tannins (CT), all from New Zealand: Barry & McNabb (1999), Niezen et al. (1995 & 1996), and Høeg (1974). These are considered in light of my observations and experiences of beneficial effect from feeding sheep with high-tannin forage. CT have been reported to increase absorption of essential amino acids in the small intestines. This results in increased wool growth, body mass, milk production and amount of protein in milk. CT seem to counteract protein loss caused by gut parasitism and may stimulate the immune system. CT may also inactivate parasite larvae during passage through the gut. Forage containing CT could offer a nutritionally-based ecologically sustainable system for controlling the effects of parasites. Tannins might also be a way to reduce the large amount of grain fed to sheep and cattle. Traditional practices could be a means to better health and economy for traditional societies. This is especially important when crops containing CT are available in great amounts or can be grown in mountain or cold districts where grains are difficult to grow.
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    Ancestral Genetic Resources Provide an Alternative to GMO Crops
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003) Eubanks, Mary W.
    Concern about the effects of pesticides on human health and the environment, has been a major rationale for promoting transgenic crops, often referred to as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or as genetically enhanced (GE) crops. Companies that sell genetically engineered crop plants claim that biotechnology offers a safe alternative to agricultural chemicals and is necessary to feed the world’s expanding human population. However, there are still many unknowns about the safety of GMOs for human health and the environment, and virtually nothing is known about how the genomes of organisms may be affected by horizontal transfer of alien genes into plants, animals, and even humans. An alternative approach to transgenic technology is the exploitation of beneficial genes from wild relatives of crop plants using conventional breeding methods. This paper describes how genetic engineering differs from conventional plant breeding, then compares and contrasts benefits from transgenic engineering with traditional methods of crop improvement. An example of how the ancestral genes model has been employed to impart an insect resistance trait to corn based on native resistance from a wild relative is compared to transgenic corn with resistance to the same insect engineered with a transgene from a bacterium. Using the ancestral genes approach, harmful chemicals used to control the worst insect pest of corn can be eliminated with no consequences to human health or the environment; whereas with the transgenic approach, there are many safety concerns in both arenas.
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    Application of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Practices of Indigenous Hawaiians to the Revegetation of Kaho'olawe
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003) Gon, Samuel M. III
    Kaho'olawe Island has been established as a natural and cultural reserve, and an ongoing process of removal of dangerous unexploded ordnance is to be followed by a restoration of the native vegetation of the island, now largely denuded and highly disturbed by alien weeds. As part of the planning process for this effort, a review of Hawaiian traditional ecological knowledge and land management practices was undertaken, offering many premises, precedents, and practica for the effort, all stemming from chants and recorded practices of Hawaiians. It becomes clear that traditional approaches have much to offer the modern restoration effort.
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    Why Launch a New Journal?
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003) McClatchey, Will ; Thomas, Michael B.