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Modern Crises and Traditional Strategies: Local Ecological Knowledge in Island Southeast Asia

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Volume 6

Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

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Modern Crises and Traditional Strategies

Local Ecological Knowledge in Island Southeast Asia

Edited by Roy Ellen

288 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-312-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (July 2007)

ISBN  978-0-85745-145-3 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (March 2011)

eISBN 978-0-85745-283-2 eBook

Hb Pb   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"Probably more than any other British anthropologist, Roy Ellen is associated with the study of ethnobiology; his has also long ranked among the leading names in the field... Both readers new to Ellen as well as those already familiar with his work will find this collection rewarding."  ·  American Anthropologist


The 1990s have seen a growing interest in the role of local ecological knowledge in the context of sustainable development, and particularly in providing a set of responses to which populations may resort in times of political, economic and environmental instability. The period 1996-2003 in island southeast Asia represents a critical test case for understanding how this might work. The key issues explored in this book are the creation, erosion and transmission of ecological knowledge, and hybridization between traditional and scientifically-based knowledge, amongst populations facing environmental stress (e.g. 1997 El Niño), political conflict and economic hazards. The book will also evaluate positive examples of how traditional knowledge has enabled local populations to cope with these kinds of insecurity.

Roy Ellen was educated at the London School of Economics and is Professor of Anthropology and Human Ecology at the University of Kent at Canterbury, where he has taught since 1973. His numerous and varied publications include Environment, Subsistence and System (Cambridge University Press, 1982), The Cultural Relations of Classification (Cambridge University Press, 1993), and most recently, The Categorical Impulse (Berghahn Books, 2005). He convenes the Kent Programme in Ethnobotany and has published widely on indigenous knowledge. In 2003 he was elected to a fellowship of the British Academy.

Subject: Environmental Studies Development Studies General Anthropology
Area: Asia


List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Contributors

Chapter 1. Introduction
Roy Ellen

Chapter 2. Responses to Medium-term Stability in Climate: El Niño, Droughts and Coping Mechanisms of Foragers and Farmers in Borneo
Rajindra K. Puri

Chapter 3. Kasepuhan Rice Landrace Diversity, Risk Management and Agricultural Modernization
Rini Soemarwoto

Chapter 4. Responses to Environmental Stress in the Baduy Swidden System, South Banten, Java
Johan Iskandar

Chaptert 5. Innovation, ‘Hybrid’ Knowledge and the Conservation of Relict Rainforest in Upland Banten
Johan Iskandar and Roy Ellen

Chapter 6. A Comparison of Traditional and Innovative Subsistence Strategies on Buano during Periods of Socio-environmental Stress, 1980–2003
Hermien L. Soselisa

Chapter 7. A Tradition of Change in Minahasan Agricultural Strategies, North Sulawesi
Simon Platten

Chapter 8. Cycles of Politics and Cycles of Nature: Permanent Crisis in the Uplands of Palawan
Dario Novellino

Chapter 9. The Tobe and Tara Bandu: a Post-independence Renaissance of Historic Forest Regulation Authorities and Practices in Oecusse, East Timor
Laura S. Metzner Yoder

Chapter 10. Perceptions of Local Knowledge and Adaptation on Mount Merapi, Central Java
Michael R. Dove


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