Jun 8, 2021

Amazon-dwellers lived sustainably for 5,000 years

Dr Piperno's discoveries also inform an ongoing debate about how much the Amazon's vast, diverse landscape was shaped by indigenous people. Some research has suggested the landscape was actively, intensively shaped by indigenous peoples before the arrival of Europeans in South America. Dr Piperno told BBC News, the new findings provide evidence that the indigenous population's use of the rainforest "Was sustainable, causing no detectable species losses or disturbances, over millennia". These forests make up more than 90% of the Amazon's land area, so studying them is key to understanding the indigenous influence on the landscape as a whole. "Indigenous peoples have tremendous knowledge of their forest and their environment," said Dr Piperno, "And that needs to be included in our conservation plans".

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