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05 Apr 2011: Interview
A Scientist Extols the Value
Of Forests Shaped by Humans
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/a_scientis ... mans/2379/
Political ecologist Susanna Hecht has incurred the wrath of some conservationists by arguing that the notion of the primeval forest is largely a myth and that disturbed forests play a vital ecological function. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she makes the case for a “new rurality” that places less emphasis on protected forests and more on the areas where people live.
by john carey
....In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Hecht argues that it’s time to start thinking about a new conservation strategy for the world’s forests. Instead of working mostly to set aside preserves and parks for wildlife and biodiversity, we need to focus more on the unprotected areas where people live. She talks about a “new rurality,” wringing the most biodiversity from a patchwork landscape of crops, pastures, agroforestry plantations, and abandoned farmland reverting to forest. And in her latest work with the El Salvadoran government, she is focusing on yet another role for this rural landscape — helping to adapt to climate change...