Anthropology, the environment and development

Today’s environment is constantly changing due to climate change and developing more buildings on local land.

From the anthropological perspective according to authors, Elizabeth Croll and David Parkin, who wrote Bush Base, Forest Farm: Culture, Environment, and Development, local people’s knowledge and use of the surrounding environment through language is broken by change of the cultural and physical environment. Therefore, the traditional skills of these people living locally and depending on the survival of the environment are practically gone. For example, for the native tribes living in the Amazon, they depend on the medicinal qualities of the plants to help heal any illnesses/diseases. So, if the Amazon trees are getting cut, then these plants are being destroyed, causing culture loss and diversity for the people living there. To prevent this, organizations are allowing local populations to fully share in the available power and be permitted uncontrolled access to their own natural resources while living within their own cultural and social contexts.

From an ecological standpoint, the authors believe in sustainable development for every country because it allows countries to grow and develop but at the same time remaining firmly attached to the ecological roots. Currently, developing countries are most at risk because they continue to over-exploit their soils, over-graze fragile grasslands, and cut dwindling forest stocks, causing depletion of the environment. Again, to prevent this, international, national, and local communities have been increasing recognized achievement of sustainable development to save the environment.

In conclusion, the environment is very important to who we are as human beings since it is a part of our national identity. Destroying it lets us also destroy the ecological perspectives and roots that we have gained from protecting it from harm. And for the people who depend on the environment for everyday usage need to thrive as well in order to preserve the culture they come from.

Reference: Croll, Elizabeth and David Parkin. Bush Base, Forest Farm: Culture, Environment, and Development. Reutledge, London; 1992.

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