2 Feb: Talk at ATREE by Alison Ormsby

Dr. Alison Ormsby, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Eckerd College
St. Petersburg, Florida, will be presenting on her ethnographic research focused on the sacred forests of the Meghalaya region in northeastern India and previous research on two sacred groves in Ghana.

February 2, 2010 at 3.00 pm at ATREE auditorium

Please find below the abstract of the talk and brief profile of the Speaker


Abstract:

India contains thousands of community-protected forests, called sacred groves. Sacred forests or groves are sites that have cultural or spiritual significance to the people who live around them. These areas may also be key reservoirs of biodiversity. The sacred groves of India are shrinking or disappearing due to cultural change and pressure to use natural resources. Sacred forests often have associated taboos on the use of specific plants and hunting of animals within the area. These traditions can serve a conservation role. The size of groves varies greatly from very small plots (less than one hectare) to larger tracts of land. These fragments may represent the sole remaining forests in certain regions. She will present about her ethnographic research focused on the sacred forests of the Meghalaya region in northeastern India as well as previous research she conducted on two sacred groves in Ghana. She also conducted interviews with community residents to assess the status of groves and strength of cultural traditions in continued protection of the groves.

About the speaker:

Alison Ormsby is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her work experience ranges from developing and conducting environmental education programs in Papua New Guinea and Madagascar to environmental consulting in the U.S. to environmental journalism relating to United Nations treaties and negotiations. She is in India for 7 months as a Fulbright Scholar studying the cultural traditions of sacred forests and groves in Meghalaya and Karnataka.