Home Human-Environment Relations from Different Perspectives


Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Buffalo Bill Center of the West


Buffalo Bill Center of the West
BBCW | 720 Sheridan Ave, Cody, Wyoming


Jul 12 2024


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Human-Environment Relations from Different Perspectives

Join us for a special, BONUS Lunchtime Expedition on Friday, July 12, co-hosted by our Draper Natural History Museum and our Plains Indian Museum.
The in-person talk takes place in the Center’s Coe Auditorium, with a virtual option available at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RWI0cv0aQoaLlkCdBDgBaA#/registration
The Swiss Graduate Program in Anthropology organizes an excursion to the Yellowstone National Park for students who do their PhD research in many parts of the world, including Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe on human-environment relations.
Yellowstone has since its beginnings inspired conservation of nature in many parts of the world, especially in its recent past—since 1995 with the reintroduction of the wolf. This brought a new understanding of the ecological role of large predators in protected areas. However, all these areas had been used by local and Indigenous peoples before becoming protected areas. The Swiss students have established research partnerships with local indigenous peoples to find out more about past and present human relations with predators (wolves, lions and jaguars) as well as with forests in conservation contexts.
This collaborative research shows that these relationships have always been an integral part of social-ecological systems before colonial times, when there was no extinction but a coexistence with predators as well as with other fauna and flora. The Indigenous co-researchers from Ecuador and Cambodia, and the Swiss anthropologists, will present joint academic and local knowledge in this presentation. The indigenous representatives will highlight local relationships with animals and plants from their perspective and speak about the challenges they face with western views about nature and conservation.
One focus of this talk will be on two indigenous guests from Ecuador, with whom research is done and who will share their views on human-environment relations. Additionally, two case studies from Kenya and Romania will illustrate what effects these different views have on human-predator relations. Similar findings are shown in the context of human-forest relations presented by an indigenous co-researcher from Cambodia.
About the speakers
The Swiss students are Ariane Zangger and Lisa Alvarado from the University of Bern. Lisa Alvarado presents together with two representatives from the Ecuadorian Amazon, Mayra Shiguango and José Narvaez on human-jaguar relations, while Ariane Zangger presents on human-wolf relations in Romania. The third project on human-lion relations is presented online by Wilson Lemillion, a Maasai from Kenya, and PhD student Samuel Weissman, who cannot attend physically. They are all part of the research project Convival Constitutionality: Human-Predator Interrelations in Complex Social-Ecological Systems (funding by the Swiss National Science Foundation), lead by Prof. Tobias Haller, University of Bern, who does the introduction. Neth Prak and Dr. Esther Leemann, University of Zurich focus on local people-forest relations in protected areas in Cambodia.

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