Using traditional knowledge in forest restoration
By S.I. Levy-Tacher, F.J.Román Dañobeytia, and J. Aronson - ITTO Tropical Forest Update 22/3 - page 15/16.
Indigenous people in Chiapas, Mexico, have a tried-and true system for restoring forests involving balsa, a valuable timber species.
In less than five decades, the Lacandon tropical rainforest—the last remaining high tropical evergreen forest in Mexico and North America—has lost 50% of its forest cover (Mendoza and Dirzo 1999; Mas et al. 2004). The original vegetation has been replaced by extensive pasturelands and a mosaic of man-induced environments, frequently dominated by ferns and other invasive plant species that prevent their use for agricultural or cattleraising activities and hampers their natural regeneration (Levy-Tacher and Aguirre 2005). In view of this, it is essential to identify strategies that will curb the ecological deterioration of the region. This could be achieved by the restoration of natural capital through the use of traditional Mayan techniques (Aronson et al. 2007).