MANUEL LIZARRALDE is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley (dissertation topic: "A Cognitive Map of the Rainforest: Ethnobotany of the Bari Indians of Venezuela"). The main focus of his research is people's quantitative and qualitative variation in knowledge of forest trees, especially their perception, use, and ecological knowledge of trees. The objective is to find a sustainable relation with the forest before it is destroyed by the rapid transformation towards modernity and consumerism that the Bari indigenous people are experiencing. Lizarralde's interests are in ecology, population, rainforests, ethnobotany, sustainable use of forests, indigenous territory and mapping of it, indigenous views on conservation, and Fourth World-First World dialogue. Among his publications: "Grupos etno-linguisticos autoctonos de America del Sur: Indice y mapa", in Antropologica, 1992/1995 (a 211 pages monograph with a 22 by 35 inches color map at the scale of 1:8.5 million).
As has been observed on most continents, South American indigenous peoples live in many of the same natural environments that have great numbers of species of plants and animals. Many of these taxa are not well known to the developed world. This is one of the richest regions not only because of its natural resources, but also in the biocultural knowledge of its indigenous peoples. The fact that most South American indigenous peoples who still maintain their languages have an extensive knowledge of their environment is of incommensurable value to western science. My research with the Bari of Venezuela has demonstrated that they do know virtually all the plants and animals in their environment. Here, I present a series of maps showing the current locations of South American indigenous peoples, the current biodiversity reserves and the areas that have a high priority for conservation, and some estimates of their overlap. While the issues of conservation and development are complex, I outline some policies for research and protection of the languages and territories of these peoples.
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