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On Biocultural Diversity: Linking Language, Knowledge and the Environment Paperback – Jun 2001


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This volume brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars from the social and natural sciences as well as cultural advocates, human rights specialists, and indigenous experts to discuss the ways in which the losses of biological, linguistic and cultural diversity are linked. Combining research with advocacy, the text outlines the threats to the world's diversity, explores the connections among its various forms, and recommends measures to help preserve and perpetuate the variety of life on Earth. Presenting case studies from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, the contributors show how the loss of linguistic and cultural diversity - often involving indigenous peoples' removal from their lands, suppression of their languages, and the loss of traditional environmental knowledge based on subsistence practices - can affect biodiversity. The final chapters suggest new directions for research, documentation, training and action in order to conserve biocultural diversity. This collection reveals a broad picture of why diversity matters. It offers a common foundation and practical avenues for preserving the wealth of biological life as well as the cultural riches represented by indigenous and minority languages and the knowledge they embody.

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