Centre for Biocultural Diversity

Conducting international research and providing training for capacity building

Featured News

New Books on Biocultural Diversity!

 

NEW! Special Issue of the journal AMBIO, Human Adaptation to Biodiversity Change in the Anthropocene, edited by CBCD staff members Professor Patricia Howard, Dr Rajindra Puri and Dr Thomas Thornton. This volume features 10 articles that report on the development of conceptual frameworks, methods and policy tools to investigate a largely overlooked area of research on the dynamics of biocultural diversity, driven by climate change impacts and other drivers of biodiversity change (e.g., invasive species, habitat loss, over-exploitation, pollution). The impetus for the issue comes from the CBCD research project HABC, originally funded by ESPA-NERC, and a symposium panel sponsored by the CBCD at the RAI 2016 Conference on Anthropology, Weather and Climate Change.

 

Just published is a volume of papers on European landscapes and biocultural diversity, Biocultural Diversity in Europe (Springer Series Environmental History), which features papers from a conference held in Florence, Italy in 2014, organized by theĀ  UNESCO-SCBD Joint Programme on the Links between Biological and Cultural Diversity (JP-BiCuD). A good sized contingent of Kent staff and students travelled to the conference to present papers and enage in discussions. Edited by Mauro Agnoletti and Francesca Emanueli, the volume features 28 chapters, including those by Dr Pablo Dominguez, CBCD Research Fellow at the time, and Anthony Knight, CBCD Affiliate Fellow and SAC Doctoral student. The editors write, “The meeting was organized into a scientific part and a workshop for the drafting of a declaration on biocultural diversity. The declaration states that the European rural landscape (about 80% of the European Union territory) is predominantly a biocultural multifunctional landscape, while the current state of biological and cultural diversity in Europe results from the combination of historical and ongoing environmental and land-use processes and cultural heritage. This book shows the existence and the importance of biocultural diversity associated to European landscape. This heritage should be studied, preserved and valorized by public policies.”

 

Kent alumnus (2002) Dr Thomas Henfrey has recently published Edges, Fringes, Frontiers: Integral Ecology, Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability in Guyana (Berghahn Series Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology), a theoretical exploration of environmental anthropology, that derives from a critical examination of the history of the discipline, and a rexamination and update of his doctoral thesis research on the ethnoecology of the Wapishana people of Guyana. He develops an Integral Ecology conceptual framework to holistically describe the objective and subjective dimensions of human-environment relationships (as individuals and social collectivities), and shows how knowledge, social norms and rules, cultural values and belief systems all interact with resource needs and ecological and historical contexts to constrain actions and insure sustainability among the forest based Wapishana farming communities. The “fringe” is the biocultural space that evolves over time, that creates diversity as a result of these interactions, including those produced in colonial and postcolonial encounters (or “edges”). He warns that the lack of socio-cultural constraints typical of western neoliberal policy and development leads to ecological degradation and the creation of “frontiers”.

More publications by CBCD staff and fellows can be found here: https://research.kent.ac.uk/cbcd/publications/