Conversations in the Rainforest: Cultures, Values, and the Environment in Central Africa

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Can any lessons for long-term environmental sustainability come from Africa, a continent long perceived more as a cauldron of environmental disasters than a cradle of environmental solutions? In Conversations in the Rainforest, Richard B. Peterson answers an emphatic yes. Peterson deftly interweaves the ideas of African and Africanist historians, theologians, anthropologists, philosophers, writers, and ecologists with a series of remarkable conversations he shared with inhabitants of the rainforests of the ...

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Overview

Can any lessons for long-term environmental sustainability come from Africa, a continent long perceived more as a cauldron of environmental disasters than a cradle of environmental solutions? In Conversations in the Rainforest, Richard B. Peterson answers an emphatic yes. Peterson deftly interweaves the ideas of African and Africanist historians, theologians, anthropologists, philosophers, writers, and ecologists with a series of remarkable conversations he shared with inhabitants of the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Yet, rather than remain in the background of his analysis, these conversations—on subjects ranging from traditional interpretations of nature to contemporary indigenous perspectives on modern environmental challenges—constitute the very core of this book.Through this enlightening and frequently mesmerizing narrative approach, Peterson brings the foundations of Central African land ethics into vivid relief. With uncommon empathy and insight, he shows how ecological and social sustainability projects in the region can be based more firmly on these foundations. This book holds invaluable lessons for environmental practitioners, scholars, and anyone interested in long-term environmental sustainability on a global level.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Drawing on conversations with inhabitants of the rainforests in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Peterson (environmental studies, Antioch College) finds solutions to environmental problems in a region usually considered only a cauldron of problems. He discusses such issues as traditional interpretations of nature, and indigenous perspectives on modern environmental challenges. He also uses the literature of African and Africanist scholars. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813337098
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2000
  • Pages: 336
  • Lexile: 1340L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard B. Peterson is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He received his Ph.D. from the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is a former National Science Foundation Fellow, and a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow. He has spent seventeen years living and working in Africa.

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Table of Contents

Acronyms
List of Illustrations
Note on Nomenclature
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 Central African Land Ethics: Theoretical Questions and Research Perspectives 21
3 Narratives on Nature: An Opening Conversation with Ubangian Farmers 60
4 Parts of a Whole: Nature, Society, and Cosmology in the Ubangi 86
5 Reservations About Nature Reserves: Local Voices on Conservation in the Ituri 147
6 One Step Removed: The Voices of University-Educated Project Staff and Local Academics 225
7 Conclusion: Lessons for Environmental Practice, Theory, and Ethics 253
Appendices 279
References Cited 297
Index 309
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2001

    Great book!!!

    Author really handles a complex and intriquing in fine fashion. Liked the book very muc

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