The Cultural Weight of Nature: The Intra and Inter-Institutional Conflicts About Biodiversity and Ethnicity in Chile and Mexico [chapter]

E. Silva, B. Contreras-Ruiz, E. Parraguez-Vergar
2011 The Importance of Biological Interactions in the Study of Biodiversity  
Considering that the developments which have taken place in international law since 1957, as well as developments in the situation of indigenous and tribal peoples in all regions of the world, have made it appropriate to adopt new international standards on the subject with a view to removing the assimilationist orientation of the earlier standards, and Recognising the aspirations of these peoples to exercise control over their own institutions, ways of life and economic development and to
more » ... ain and develop their identities, languages and religions, within the framework of the States in which they live, and Noting that in many parts of the world these peoples are unable to enjoy their fundamental human rights to the same degree as the rest of the population of the States within which they live, and that their laws, values, customs and perspectives have often been eroded..." The perception has taken a long time to permeate through Mexican and Chilean states, which despite signing the above agreements, still uphold practices that marginalize, weaken and fragment those cultures entailing valuable ancestral socio-ecological knowledge. Within the global change framework, and with the possibility of a collapse for many socioecological systems, it has become an overriding task to develop a solid, diagnostic method that will allow analyzing diversity processes and multiplicity of potential solutions about social and biophysical aspects. These methods are to tackle the large scale changes approaching (Orstrom, 2007) . This chapter analyses two case studies in Mapuche (Chile) and Totonac (Mexico) communities. Both were Spanish colonies, however, their socioecological systems developed contrasting systems of governance. Along their history of interaction with the new government systems, we identify some of the socio-ecological factors that allowed them to resist the challenges that a radically different culture, and political system imposed. Hard cover, 390 pages Publisher InTech
doi:10.5772/25098 fatcat:njvtvdyc2jdk5hwcswckynfzbq