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Mexico's INAH Publishes Bio Cultural Heritage in Indigenous Hands Book by Eckart Boege
(From left)Fernando Nava, Director of the National Institute for Indigenous Languages, Enrique Leff, an expert from UNAM, Eckart Boege, anthropologist and author of the book, Victor M. Toledo, from UNAM and Enrique Serrano, from INAH. Photo: Hector Montaño/INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- As a result of 6 years of study by Eckart Boege, of the most acknowledged ambient anthropologists in Mexico, the book Bio Cultural Heritage of Indigenous Peoples in Mexico (El patrimonio biocultural de los pueblos indigenas de Mexico) was edited. It offers an innovative perspective regarding this heritage that concentrates in 22 regions that are priority for Mexico’s conservation and development.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the National Committee for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI) co edition has already awaken interest in the Tlapaneca region, in Guerrero, where part of the print run will be distributed, as well as painter Francisco Toledo’s, who will donate 200 copies to community libraries in Oaxaca.

As Eckart Boege, academic at Veracruz INAH Center pointed out, it is framed in a period that represents “the 6th great species extinction in biological history, provoked by humans”.

“The book tries to relocate indigenous peoples beyond marginality and the opinion of governmental instances regarding social development. Indigenous peoples have so much to offer facing the future and must do in a forceful way”.

“’Bio Cultural Heritage of Indigenous Peoples’ intends to shake consciences, in the first place for indigenous peoples knowledge’s sake, for them to break the limits established by cartography, not culture”, expressed the author at the book presentation that took place in the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA).

Dr. Victor Manuel Toledo from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) Center of Ecosystem Research, remarked Boege’s methodology used to land data regarding indigenous population an their territories, as well as the environmental richness in their custody.

“Bio Cultural Heritage of Indigenous Peoples in Mexico” brings in revealing information, such as precise delimitation of indigenous territories: 28 million hectares, which represent 14 per cent of Mexican surface; the 24 per cent of the water collected nationwide is done in areas occupied by ethnic groups.

In spite of depredation of forest richest ecosystems, many of them are still inhabited by indigenous peoples. Abundance of maize varieties in Mexican Republic is something that supports the publication and opens debate regarding transgenic introduction.

Enrique Leff Zimmerman, expert from UNAM Center for Social Investigations mentioned that “Bio Cultural Heritage of Indigenous Peoples” is not just a juxtaposition of cultural and bio-ecological diversities; “it rescues the fact that this richness was generated as a conjunct; Agro diversity is not product of Darwinian evolution, but of wise human intervention”.

“To present, this legacy represents the most sensible, healthy and fair way to think seriously about world’s sustainability. This book is not an ethno botany treatise or an anthropological study linked to biological diversity; it is inscribed in an environmental crisis’ solution perspective”.

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Eckart Boege | National Committee for the Development of Indigenous Peoples | Francisco Toledo | Guerrero |

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