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Editorial

The underutilized resources in the lowland wet zone forests of Sri Lanka and untapped Indigenous knowledge of peripheral households

Author:

A. L. Ranawake

University of Ruhuna, Kamburupitiya, LK
About A. L.
Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

Biological diversity and cultural diversity have been identified as interdependent factors by UNESCO “Culture for the 2030 Agenda”.  Biological diversity determines the livelihood of the inhabitants. The contribution of inhabitants to conserve or manage the habitat sustainably is highly recognized by the world heritage convention.  Minimizing waste, avoiding chemicals, selecting natural and healthier products, and recyclability are the five sustainability goals in trend. Ecological sustainability is the key feature of the communities living in their natural habitats. Indigenous knowledge of the people who lived in a specific area for generations is an underutilized resource for the sustainable management of the ecological system. Data centrism, carbon offsetting, and going for green products are new concepts of the century. These concepts were often applied by the local people who lived closer to lowland tropical forests in Sri Lanka. Gathering information on indigenous knowledge and identifying the diverse materials used by the indigenous people will be a reference library for future sustainable utilization, management, and conservation of lowland tropical forests. The present work describes indigenous knowledge as revealed by the local people who live closer to lowland tropical forests. The information is mainly focused on agriculture-related themes, namely food (mushrooms, aquatic and terrestrial leaves, wild fruits, aquatic molluscs), wood, vines, and leaves for production purposes (materials for housing, wood for specific purposes, leaves for weaving), natural substances (oils, wax, resins, dies, and toxic substance gathered from the forests, their sources, and usage) and honey collection and animal rearing. This invites the scientific community to explore the untouched areas in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, ethnobotanical, phytochemical, and architectural fields within new trending concepts such as ecological sustainability, eco-friendly, low-waste food, functional food, carbon footprint offset, green building, eco-tourism, and tightening supply chain concepts.
How to Cite: Ranawake, A.L., 2021. The underutilized resources in the lowland wet zone forests of Sri Lanka and untapped Indigenous knowledge of peripheral households. Journal of the University of Ruhuna, 9(2), pp.47–71. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jur.v9i2.7997
Published on 30 Dec 2021.

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