Humans have been altering tropical forests for at least 45,000 years
Tens of thousands of years of controlled burns, forest management and clear-cutting have implications for modern conservation efforts and shatter the image of the 'untouched' tropical forest
The global data compiled for this paper shows that a pristine, untouched tropical forest ecosystem does not exist - and has not existed for tens of thousands of years. There is no ideal forest environment that modern conservationists can look to when setting goals and developing a strategy for forest conservation efforts. Rather, an understanding of the archaeological history of tropical forests and their past manipulation by humans is crucial in informing modern conservation efforts. The researchers recommend an approach that values the knowledge and cooperation of the native populations that live in tropical forests. "Indigenous and traditional peoples - whose ancestors' systems of production and knowledge are slowly being decoded by archaeologists - should be seen as part of the solution and not one of the problems of sustainable tropical forest development," states Roberts. The researchers also emphasize the importance of disseminating the information learned from archaeology to other disciplines. By working together, these groups can help to establish a better understanding of the tropical forest environments and how best to protect them.
No. No. No. No. Changed my mind. Wanna come down. To see this tiny ad: