It is becoming increasingly apparent that virtually all aspects of diversity are in steep decline. Indigenous knowledge systems, biodiversity and cultural diversity (three interacting, interdependent systems) are all threatened with extinction throughout the world. This book explores the diversity crisis from the perspective of forestry. It introduces an emerging vision, known as the endogenous realisation of aspirations (ERA), that attempts to enhance well-being and biocultural diversity by building on local or endogenous ambitions and dreams. Based on research in the Kham region of south-western China, the author offers some practical methods for allowing development professionals to develop an understanding of and empathy for the local cultures within which they work, as well as to identify and understand local forest concepts and values. He also offers some policy recommendations for incorporating this approach more widely into development practice.
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