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Linking sustainable practices throughout Europe

► Living in the rainforest in the 21st century

Rural topic(s): Local ecological knowledge, Agroecology and agroforestry

Type: book

Date of publication: March 1, 2019


This week, we recommend the collective work “Habiter la forêt tropicale au XXIe siècle / Living in the rainforest in the 21st century“, coordinated by Geneviève Michon Stéphanie M. Carrière and Bernard Moizo, researchers at IRD.

In 2015, Geneviève Michon published the book ‘Farmers in the shadow of the world’s forests’, which already referred to ecological knowledge. Several chapters of the new publication also address this subject, notably in Part 3 (Thinking, representing, sharing the forest) and Part 4 (Gathering, hunting, cultivating the forest), which presents multiple practices and uses of the populations inhabiting the tropical forests of Amazonia, Central Africa, Southeast Asia and Madagascar.

Chapter 9, “Local knowledge in question”, refers in particular to the interpretation and use of indigenous naturalist knowledge sometimes biased by our own Western representations, that should be placed in the context of different cultures and worldviews. This chapter also highlights the challenges faced by local communities in transmitting this knowledge, challenges that are met with innovation and creativity in Guatemala, for example.

You can preview the book here , using the ‘feuilleter / browse’ option. The full pdf version is free (140MB) and can be downloaded by creating a customer account.


Here is the text of the back cover. Enjoy reading!

As major ecosystems in the fight against global warming, and as centres of biodiversity, tropical rainforests are home to over 700 million people at the beginning of the 21st century.

Considered sometimes as guardians of the forest, sometimes as responsible for deforestation, these forest populations are the subject of many preconceived ideas. But who are they really, and how do they live in the contemporary world?

From the last hunter-gatherer peoples to landless migrants, from farmers to rubber planters, from oil palm growers to foresters, this book describes the reality of these populations in all their diversity. It highlights the richness of their relationship with the forest, their representations, their practices and their uses. It illustrates how they are part of globalisation, and how the global market and public policies affect their way of life. Finally, it highlights the impact of global change and the resulting financial mechanisms on the management of tropical forests and on the future of forest populations.


Publisher: Editions IRD

Link: https://www.editions.ird.fr/produit/483/9782709924573/habiter-la-foret-tropicale-au-xxie-siecle

Scale of intervention : International

Keywords: agroforestry, agroecology, small scale fisheries, knowledge transmission, traditional knowledge, conservation and management of natural resources, Farmers Ecological Knowledge

Actors: hunters, fishermen’s organization, farmer-harvester