Western Pacific

Suzanne A. Feary, David Eastburn, Nalish Sam, Jean Kennedy

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The forests of the Western Pacific range from tropical in Oceania to cool temperate in the Australian state of Tasmania, and all have been manipulated by humans for thousands of years. Indigenous communities across the Western Pacific used forest resources for food, medicine, and raw materials, based on an intimate knowledge of local ecologies, understood though a cosmological lens. Differing colonial histories have influenced the degree to which traditional knowledge has been retained and valued. New Zealand Maori and Aboriginal Australians lost their land and much associated knowledge, whereas customary forms of land tenure are largely intact across the oceanic Pacific, where traditional knowledge continues to underpin integrated systems of subsistence agriculture and forest use. Traditional forest-related knowledge is threatened by modernity across the Western Pacific, and its diminution has been linked with deforestation in the Pacific Islands, with calls by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local people to replace large-scale commercial logging with more sustainable systems that give more credence to traditional knowledge. In Australia and New Zealand, indigenous people are partnering with government agencies to ensure their cultural values are adequately recognised and protected in publicly owned forests
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTraditional Forest-Related Knowledge: Sustaining Communities, Ecosystems and Biocultural Diversity
    Editors John A. Parrotta & Ronald L. Trosper
    Place of PublicationNetherlands
    ISBN (Print)9789400721432
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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