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Jakarta Post

Indigenous people and nature conservation

  • Freddy Pattiselanno and Agustina Arobaya

Cairns, Queensland   /   Sat, January 5 2013   /  11:41 am

Dubbed one of the world’s top-two mega centers of biodiversity alongside Brazil, Indonesia is also a country of enormous cultural diversity. Among its 259.94 million inhabitants today, there are more than 500 ethnic groups speaking over 1,000 languages and dialects.

Anthropological studies indicate that hot spots of high biodiversity are associated with regions where traditional societies are frequently found. In this circumstance, indigenous groups offer alternative knowledge and perspectives based on their own locally developed practices of resource use (Berkes et al, 2000) or known as the indigenous knowledge — practice belief complex.

Indigenous knowledge and biodiversity are complementary phenomena essential to human development. During the past decade, a rapidly growing set of evidence indicates strong relations between indigenous knowledge and sustainable devel...