This volume is a compendium of selected plant species of ethnobotanical value to the highland communities of popular Southeast Asia. "Traditional" knowledge held by local communities on their resources is always in flux and adapting to a quickly changing environment. New plants find their entry into the local pharmacopoeias while existing ones may be removed. Likewise, various local communities might find the same plant useful for completely different purposes. While compiling information on the species, authors have taken great care to ensure that the dynamic nature of ethnobotanical knowledge is represented adequately. Special emphasis has also been given to the cultural value of species to the local communities in the region.
The field (and thus the market) of ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology has grown considerably in recent years. Student interest is on the rise, attendance at professional conferences has grown steadily, and the number of professionals calling themselves ethnobotanists has increased significantly (the various societies, such as the Society for Economic Botany, International Society of Ethnopharmacology, Society of Ethnobiology, International Society for Ethnobiology, and many regional and national societies in the field, currently have thousands of members).
The objective of this new major reference work on the ethnobotany of mountain regions of Southeast Asia is to take advantage of the increasing international interest and scholarship on highland landscapes and communities. While ethnobotanical studies are now available from many regions of the world, no comprehensive encyclopedic volume on the highlands of popular Southeast Asia is available in the market. This book includes the best and latest research on a full range of descriptive, methodological, theoretical, and applied research on the most important plants for the region.
F. Merlin Franco is an ethnobiologist working with the Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam. He is passionate about the reciprocal relationship between human culture, language, and biodiversity (biocultural diversity), and the myriad ways in which it manifests. He collaborates with local communities of Asia on topics related to folk medicine, traditional ecological calendars, cultural keystone species, and biocultural landscapes. However, his work lays special emphasis on the cultures and landscapes of Borneo where he is based since 2012.