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In a Remote Amazon Region, Study Shows Indigenous Peoples Have Practiced Forest Conservation for Millennia

 

The Algodón River flows through a forest of the Amazon Basin in the remote northeastern corner of Peru. Scientists collected and analyzed a series of 10 roughly three-foot-long soil cores from three sites, each located at least a half-mile away from river courses and floodplains. (Álvaro del Campo)

The Amazon, the world's largest and most biodiverse tropical forest, spanning nine countries and more than 2.3 million square miles, was once thought by scholars to hold untamed, unaltered, pristine wilderness.

However, the Amazon rainforest has long been home to many indigenous societies. In recent decades, researchers have found evidence of the many ways since prehistoric times that Indigenous peoples have shaped forest composition and its diversity, and domesticated native plants.

The human footprint in a number of regions is undeniable. Agriculture, fish weirs, roads, changes in soil composition and huge geometric earthworks called geoglyphs are evidence of the many ways Indigenous groups have had a significant impact.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/remote-amazon-region-study-shows-indigenous-peoples-have-practiced-forest-conservation-millennia-180978038/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20210623-daily-responsive&spMailingID=45195732&spUserID=NTkyNzY2ODg1MzgyS0&spJobID=2026092857&spReportId=MjAyNjA5Mjg1NwS2

 

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