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Tales Of A Shaman S Apprentice

Author: Mark J. Plotkin
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101644699
Size: 62.17 MB
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For thousands of years, healers have used plants to cure illness. Aspirin, the world's most widely used drug, is based on compounds originally extracted from the bark of a willow tree, and more than a quarter of medicines found on pharmacy shelves contain plant compounds. Now Western medicine, faced with health crises such as AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer, has begun to look to the healing plants used by indigenous peoples to develop powerful new medicines. Nowhere is the search more promising than in the Amazon, the world's largest tropical forest, home to a quarter of all botanical species on this planet—as well as hundreds of Indian tribes whose medicinal plants have never been studied by Western scientists. In Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice, ethnobotanist Mark J. Plotkin recounts his travels and studies with some of the most powerful Amazonian shamans, who taught him the plant lore their tribes have spent thousands of years gleaning from the rain forest. For more than a decade, Dr. Plotkin has raced against time to harvest and record new plants before the rain forests' fragile ecosystems succumb to overdevelopment—and before the Indians abandon their own culture and learning for the seductive appeal of Western material culture. Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice relates nine of the author's quests, taking the reader along on a wild odyssey as he participates in healing rituals; discovers the secret of curare, the lethal arrow poison that kills in minutes; tries the hallucinogenic snuff epena that enables the Indians to speak with their spirit world; and earns the respect and fellowship of the mysterious shamans as he proves that he shares both their endurance and their reverence for the rain forest. Mark Plotkin combines the Darwinian spirit of the great writer-explorers of the nineteenth century—curious, discursive, and rigorously scientific—with a very modern concern for the erosion of our environment and the vanishing culture of native peoples.

Encyclopaedia Of The History Of Science Technology And Medicine In Non Western Cultures

Author: Helaine Selin
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 140204559X
Size: 36.48 MB
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Here, at last, is the massively updated and augmented second edition of this landmark encyclopedia. It contains approximately 1000 entries dealing in depth with the history of the scientific, technological and medical accomplishments of cultures outside of the United States and Europe. The entries consist of fully updated articles together with hundreds of entirely new topics. This unique reference work includes intercultural articles on broad topics such as mathematics and astronomy as well as thoughtful philosophical articles on concepts and ideas related to the study of non-Western Science, such as rationality, objectivity, and method. You’ll also find material on religion and science, East and West, and magic and science.


Author: Nigel J. H. Smith
Publisher: United Nations University Press
ISBN: 9789280809060
Size: 53.11 MB
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"Balanced, worthwhile book includes chapters on threats to the environment, change and societal response, conservation and management, plantation crops, agroforestry, ranching, floodplain dynamics, and trends and opportunities"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.

Tropical Forest Conservation

Author: Douglas Southgate
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195355062
Size: 13.40 MB
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Attempts to halt the destruction of rain forests and other natural habitats in the tropics have met with little success. In particular, national parks, like those found in wealthy nations, have proven difficult to establish in Africa, Asia, and South and Central America. More often than not, people inhabiting areas designated for protection resist being told by outsiders that they must change how and where they live. Alternative approaches, frequently embodied in integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs), are now being pursued. The goal is to address local communities' desires for improved standards of living while simultaneously meeting conservation objectives. Nature-based tourism and sustainable harvesting of forest products are the centerpieces of ICDPs and related initiatives. This book assesses the viability of conservation strategies predicated on the adoption of environmentally sound enterprises in and around threatened habitats. Drawing on research in Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru and on his extensive experience working in South and Central America and the Caribbean, the author demonstrates that it is rare for forest dwellers to derive much benefit from ecotourism, the extraction of timber and other commodities, or the collection of samples used in pharmaceutical research. Often these activities are simply unprofitable. Even when they are profitable, the benefits tend not to accrue locally, but instead are captured by outside firms and individuals who can provide important services like safe and reliable transportation. The author contends that human capital formation and related productivity-enhancing investment is the only sure path to economic progress and habitat conservation.

Biodiversity And Agriculture

Author: Jitendra Srivastava
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 9780821336168
Size: 61.71 MB
Format: PDF
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Agriculture's vital role in biodiversity conservation and management. Definition of biodiversity. Biodiversity's links to agriculture. Biodiversity and agriculture: on a collision course?. Rationale for the World Bank's involvement in biodiversity management. Biodiversity in the Bank's agricultural and environmental portfolios. Towards a strategy for biodiversity conservation in harmony with agricultural development.

Notable Twentieth Century Scientists

Author: Kristine M. Krapp
Publisher: Gale Group
ISBN: 9780787627669
Size: 32.82 MB
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This text represents a supplement to the original 4-volume set, and provides 225 new profiles on internationally renowned scientists, with special attention to women and minorities. These include Ian Wilmut, Scottish embryologist, Tim Berners-Lee, British computer scientist, and Virginia Agpar, American Anaestheologist.

Deadly Dances In The Bornean Rainforest

Author: Rajindra K. Puri
Publisher: Kitlv Press
ISBN: 9789067182393
Size: 66.38 MB
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For two years Raj Puri lived and hunted with the Penan Benalui people in the rainforest of eastern Borneo in Indonesia. Here he reports on Penan hunting techniques, the knowledge required to be a successful hunter, and the significance of hunting for Penan communities. The author makes a case for using active participant observation, in conjunction with standard ethnobiological research methods, for documenting non-verbal knowledge.

Rainforest Organizations

Author: Steve Shipp
Publisher: McFarland Publishing
ISBN: 9780786403813
Size: 63.95 MB
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Rainforests -- home to more than half of all plant and animal species on earth while covering less than six percent of the world's land area -- have intricate ecosystems with multitudes of animal and plant species, including humans. Yet deforestation of the rainforests has greatly increased in the past half century. Ten thousand years ago rainforests covered an estimated 9. 5 million square miles, but as millions of trees are lost daily to agricultural and commercial development, scientific studies project the reduction of rainforests to six million square miles by the year 2000 and 3. 5 million square miles by 2050. Numerous scientific, political, conservationist, public-information and other organizations have been formed to address every aspect of rainforests; over 120 worldwide can be found in this directory. Each entry lists the address, phone number, contact person, e-mail or Internet address, (if available), mission statement or goals, publications, and often the group's history and current projects. All listed agencies and organizations readily accept queries for information about rainforests, and most invite participation in their activities and projects.