Indigenous knowledge and the persistence of the ‘wilderness’ myth

An article in discusses a paper of interest here on Smokey Wire, though it does not address wilderness or indigenous practices in the US. Excerpt:

Aboriginal people in Australia view wilderness, or what is called “wild country,” as sick land that’s been neglected and not cared for. This is the opposite of the romantic understanding of wilderness as pristine and healthy—a view which underpins much non-Indigenous conservation effort.

In a recent paper for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, we demonstrate how many iconic “wilderness” landscapes—such as the Amazon, forests of Southeast Asia and the western deserts of Australia, are actually the product of long-term management and maintenance by Indigenous and local peoples.

The authors of the paper, “Indigenous knowledge and the shackles of wilderness,” state that:

“Rather than espousing the exclusive wilderness territories as an antidote to the ills of the Anthropocene, externally funded, designed, and implemented conservation initiatives must now align with or cede to Indigenous and local governance initiatives that drive research, policy making, and variegated landscape management.”

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