Luisa Maffi | Biocultural Diversity - Cultures Are No Museum Specimens | The European Magazine - The Opinion Magazine

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Should we care about biological and cultural diversity even if its decline does not affect us? Martin Eiermann talked with the anthropologist and linguist Luisa Maffi about the value of diversity, ecological resilience and an environmentalist’s commitment to humanism.

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A Biocultural Approach to Development

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New article by Jamie Alissa Beck on Terralingua’s Biocultural Diversity Conservation Blog. “It is a natural assumption that international development programs lead to direct improvements in lives around the world. Decreasing rates of under-five mortality from malaria? Absolutely. Improving lives in the wake of unimaginable destruction from natural disasters? Without question. It was under these obvious assumptions that I worked for years on various development programs as part of a large government agency. However, I quickly realized that this dominant model of development – one that often takes a Western approach to what progress looks like and applies it to people in all parts of the world regardless of their own values – does not fare so well in empowering cultures, languages or local solutions. With time I saw clearly that in addition to building health clinics, schools, and green revolutions, I was in some cases unknowingly contributing to the creation of a Western monoculture and the destruction of beautifully diverse cultures and languages that hold immeasurable value.” [...]

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Langscape, Volume II, Issue 9

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The theme for this issue is our growing “community of practice” in biocultural diversity conservation–a movement that started with the publication of our book Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook in 2010, and has continued since then through our dedicated portal www.terralingua.org/bcdconservation, an online space that keeps the Sourcebook project vibrant, evolving, and interactive. Our editor Ortixia Dilts has drawn from the amazing global pool of dedicated biocultural conservationists who have contributed to both the print and online versions of the Sourcebook. This issue features articles spanning from South Africa to Italy to Costa Rica and describes the latest projects that we added to the portal.

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