Ecological data will be collected within the territory of the five Tsimane’ villages which will be observed. Data will be collected by obtaining an inventory of plant and tree diversity in the specific village areas of focus. Soil samples from each of these areas will also be collected in order to obtain edaphic information.
To gain a greater understanding of how deforestation relates to this loss in overall biodiversity, the distance from any areas of logging, the distance from any human settlements or villages and the distance from any other observable forest degradation will be recorded.
These empirical recordings will then be compared to past documented recordings in order to determine the overall loss of biodiversity and will, therefore, be used as the primary ecological data source in this research project. It is important to use this method of ecological data collection because it will be compared to the cultural data collection in order to identify an overall correlation between the two rates of change.
There are signs that around the world traditional ecological knowledge is decreasing. Since traditional ecological knowledge has the potential to encourage biodiversity conservation and deforestation prevention, identifying the multifaceted causation of traditional ecological knowledge loss is of great importance within modern scientific research. Historically, Indigenous peoples around the world have faced many issues including loss or degradation of Indigenous lands, acculturation, and even genocide. The importance of preserving and protecting Indigenous culture has commonly been deprioritized. Also, the benefits of conserving Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge for modern study and potential usage has been largely overlooked.
Since the Amazon Rainforest is home to the world’s richest biodiversity (Foley et. al 2007), it is important to protect the area from the rapid losses that are occurring through mass deforestation and forest degradation. If biodiversity loss through deforestation is proven to have a causal relation to Tsimane’ Indigenous cultural shifts and traditional knowledge losses, then conservation talks will be much more likely.
Anthropocentrism prioritizes human life over the environment and all other non-human species. The extraction and burning of fossil fuels, transportation, deforestation, agriculture, transportation, and other human activities all have an immense impact on the environment, non-human species, and climate. However, the lives of vulnerable and marginalized people around the world are also impacted by these activities. Environmental justice is as much of a social issue as it is an environmental issue. Curbing the loss of biodiversity in the Bolivian Amazon Rainforest by ceasing mass Western-style, profit-driven deforestation is not only important in protecting the environment. Conservation may also protect the culture and livelihood of the Tsimane’ Indigenous people who are and have always been dependent on the rainforest.