2004 - Volume 2 : Ethnobotany Research and Applications

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 14
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    How 'Awa Travels the World
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2004) Weaver, Kia
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    Crops and Cultures in the Pacific: New Data and New Techniques for the Investigation of Old Questions
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2004) Pickersgill, Barbara
    Fifty years ago Carl Sauer suggested, controversially and on the basis of theory rather than evidence, that South-east Asia was the source area for agriculture throughout the Old World, including the Pacific. Since then, the archaeobotanical record (macroscopic and microscopic) from the Pacific islands has increased, leading to suggestions, also still controversial, that Melanesia was a center of origin of agriculture independent of South-east Asia, based on tree fruits and nuts and vegetatively propagated starchy staples. Such crops generally lack morphological markers of domestication, so exploitation, cultivation and domestication cannot easily be distinguished in the archaeological record. Molecular studies involving techniques such as chromosome painting, DNA fingerprinting and DNA sequencing, can potentially complement the archaeological record by suggesting where species which were spread through the Pacific by man originated and by what routes they attained their present distributions. A combination of archaeobotanical and molecular studies should therefore eventually enable the rival claims of Melanesia versus South-east Asia as independent centers of invention of agriculture to be assessed.
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    Survey of Medicinal Plants in the Main US Herbaria
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2004) Flaster, Trish
    Plant identification has been waning during the recent expansive study of medicinal plants. This has been particularly true among manufacturers of products being marketed for natural heath care sectors. In an attempt to understanding to why basic plant identification is lacking, an inventory of the main US herbaria was completed in 2002. The inventory included plants that are commonly in use for medicinal purposes and those considered as adulterants. The results identify the plants found in each herbarium collection, access to the collections, and future plans of the herbaria for virtual (computer based) access to the collections. Recommendations are made for usage of virtual herbaria and expanded usage of traditional herbaria for identification of plants used in health care.
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    The Neglected Key to Successful Biodiversity Conservation and Appropriate Development: Local Traditional Knowledge
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2004) Quansah, Nat
    The need to conserve the worlds’ biodiversity is no longer a controversial issue. However, the question of how to conserve biodiversity is a pressing issue. The evidence of this is seen in the continued loss of biodiversity, especially in the rich biodiversity countries of the world, despite the efforts by many governments and non-governmental organizations and individuals. Similarly, the need for countries to develop is not an issue but which types of development and how development is implemented are important issues. So how do we arrive at successfully conserving biodiversity and achieve appropriate development programs? This paper presents local traditional knowledge as the neglected key to successful biodiversity conservation as well as appropriate development programs. Successful biodiversity conservation and the implementation of appropriate development programs, it is suggested, may be accomplished by consciously targeting and harnessing local traditional knowledge. The effectiveness is based on the various relationships that exist between people of diverse cultures and the other elements of biodiversity in their respective areas.
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    Ethnobotanical and Floristic Research in Belize: Accomplishments, Challenges and Lessons Learned
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2004) Balick, Michael J. ; O’Brien, Hugh
    Ethnobotanical and floristic research in Belize was conducted through the Belize Ethnobotany Project which was launched in 1988 as a multi-disciplinary effort of a number of individuals and institutions in Belize and internationally. The objectives of the project were the preservation of cultural and traditional knowledge, natural products research (through the National Cancer Institute), technology transfer, institutional strengthening and student training. This paper discusses the implementation of the project components, highlighting its accomplishments, challenges and lessons learned. A checklist of the flora has been produced, and includes 3,408 native and cultivated species found in Belize. The multiple use curve is introduced as a way of determining the most appropriate sample size for ethnobotanical interviews/collections. Valuation studies of medicinal plants found in two areas of local forest are described, and compared with values of traditional uses for farming, using a net present value analysis. Studies on the ecology, propagation and sustainable levels of harvest of medicinal plants were also initiated in Belize. Our experience with the production of a traditional healer’s manual is detailed, and we describe details on the benefit-sharing approach utilized to recognize intellectual property that it contains. Various local efforts at developing forest-based traditional medicine products are described, as is the natural products research and teaching program based on Belizean plants. The authors will relate an example of how negative events can be transformed to have positive results. Specifically, in the case of conflict over the management of the region’s first ethnobiomedical reserve, two competing groups claimed responsibility for its management. However, the conflict was eventually resolved and resulted in two such reserves being established, together representing over 50,000 acres of land set aside for conservation and use by traditional healers. The perspective of local participants and communities will also be presented, including a short video presentation.
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    Editorial: Give and Take
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2004) Bridges, K.W.
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    Past International Year of the Indigenous People? Into a new millennium
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2004) Rao, Ramana
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    Genetic Diversity in Taro, and the Preservation of Culinary Knowledge
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2004) Matthews, Peter J.
    The origins, domestication and dispersal of taro are outlined, as far as they are known, and recent surveys of genetic variation are reviewed. These surveys have established that taro, an ancient root crop in Asia, Africa and the Pacific, is genetically very diverse. Across the full geographical range of taro, very little is known about what forms of taro are grown for what economic and culinary purposes. Ethnographic research on taro as a food, and the preservation of culinary knowledge associated with taro, are needed for the preservation of genetic diversity in this crop. Much will depend on how the crop is developed and promoted commercially, and on active interest and support for the crop among local growers, cooks, distributors and consumers.