Cultural Forest

Thailand’s Cultural Forest

Music; Ambience: Forest ambience in Thailand, Insects

We’re in northeastern Thailand, in a forest where scientists are working with indigenous peoples to find the best way to manage this endangered ecosystem. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

“At first, we think that we should bring the scientific knowledge to improve the forest. But when we work in the area, we know that the indigenous people they know how to conserve the area better than the government or better than the scientists, because they have their own way to take care of the environment. So we work together with the local people.”

Dr. Usa Klinhom of Mahasarakham University, is working with the Isan people in northeastern Thailand. Although the Isan may not express their environmental knowledge in scientific language, that doesn’t mean that they’re not expert caretakers of their local ecosystem.

“I learned from the local people that before they plant the rice, they must plant for the small area first. For one month, they say that the plant is for spirits, and then after that they plant in the big area for themselves. After I observed it for two years, I know that the small area they plant first for the spirits, it’s just for the insects. When the insects eat that all, the the cycle of insect is stopped- they do not disturb the big area of the people.”

Dr. Klinhom and her team are hoping that the remaining forest of northeastern Thailand will be preserved, along with the culture of the indigenous peoples who best know how to manage it.

To hear about our CD, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Cultural Forest

In northeastern Thailand, scientists are learning lessons from indigenous people on how to manage the endangered forest ecosystem.
Air Date:02/06/2013
Scientist:
Transcript:

Thailand's Cultural Forest

Music; Ambience: Forest ambience in Thailand, Insects

We're in northeastern Thailand, in a forest where scientists are working with indigenous peoples to find the best way to manage this endangered ecosystem. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

"At first, we think that we should bring the scientific knowledge to improve the forest. But when we work in the area, we know that the indigenous people they know how to conserve the area better than the government or better than the scientists, because they have their own way to take care of the environment. So we work together with the local people."

Dr. Usa Klinhom of Mahasarakham University, is working with the Isan people in northeastern Thailand. Although the Isan may not express their environmental knowledge in scientific language, that doesn't mean that they're not expert caretakers of their local ecosystem.

"I learned from the local people that before they plant the rice, they must plant for the small area first. For one month, they say that the plant is for spirits, and then after that they plant in the big area for themselves. After I observed it for two years, I know that the small area they plant first for the spirits, it's just for the insects. When the insects eat that all, the the cycle of insect is stopped- they do not disturb the big area of the people."

Dr. Klinhom and her team are hoping that the remaining forest of northeastern Thailand will be preserved, along with the culture of the indigenous peoples who best know how to manage it.

To hear about our CD, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.