Friday, August 29, 2008

Cultural and Biological Diversity in a Rapidly Changing World

In April 2008 a conference was organized in New York called "Sustaining Cultural and Biological Diversity in a Rapidly Changing World: Lessons for Global Policy". Here's what one of the organizers Terralingua has to say:

"The past two decades have witnessed an upsurge of interest in the links between cultural, linguistic, and biological diversity. These various manifestations of the diversity of life are under threat by some of the same forces, yet, both in scientific inquiry and in the realms of policy and management, nature and culture are often treated as separate and unrelated entities. This stems in part from the mutual isolation that has traditionally characterized training and work in the natural and social sciences, leading to limited communication or collaboration among fields concerned with sustainability in both nature and culture. Another contributing factor has been a limited appreciation of the relevance of the vast variety of approaches to human-environment relationships that have developed across the world’s diverse cultures, often through close interactions with the natural environment and based on a perception of humans as part of, not separate from, nature. Fragmented approaches have not been successful in arresting the growing erosion of the world’s biodiversity and of the vast and diverse pool of cultural knowledge, practices, and languages developed by humanity. This is resulting in an ever less diverse and resilient world."

Many of the speakers were interviewed. These interviews (in English) can be heard in the section "Vanishing and Re-emerging: Reviving Biological and Cultural Diversity" on the A World of Possibilities website.

I found the Ashish Kothari interview especially interesting for its emphasis on and optimism about community-initiated, and community-sustained movements.

This post is also on my Esperanto blog at Ipernity.

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