29 Jan '15, 4am

Through careful management, indigenous people have shaped Asian rainforests for 11,000 years [1 yr ago]

Kelumpang Sarawak (Sterculia megistophylla) in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler Humans have been actively managing vast areas of Southeast Asia's forests for longer than previously believed, according to research by paleoecologists from the United Kingdom presented in the current Journal of Archaeological Science . Strong evidence suggests that humans in Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Thailand and Vietnam have engaged in agricultural practices for the last 11,000 years. These findings may help bolster the claims of local indigenous peoples under threat of eviction from their traditional lands. The harsh environment of the tropical forest coupled with the use of perishable materials by early inhabitants means the archaeological record is sparse in this area. Therefore, the authors look to proxy clues of human interaction with the forest by examining charcoal and pollen deposits col...

Full article: http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0128-lbell-indigenous-fores...

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