Dying cultures Degradation of indigenous cultures Endangered tribes Destruction of indigenous cultures Endangered indigenous peoples
There are an estimated 15,000 cultures remaining on earth, many doomed or significantly threatened by erosion of cultural integrity, loss of habitat and environmental quality, and the ravages of disease and socio-economic infections. With them goes expertise and wisdom of elders, healers, midwives, farmers, fishermen and hunters, mostly transmissible only by oral tradition to respectful successors.
Most of the 15,000 cultures are represented by a single population of several hundred persons or less, dependent on pockets of land which are increasingly under threat from other uses or environmental destruction. Since 1900, 90 of Brazil's 270 Indian tribes have completely disappeared, while scores more have lost their lands and abandoned their ways. More than two-thirds of the remaining tribes have populations of fewer than 1,000. The pygmies, who live in the equatorial forests of Uganda and Zaire, are on the verge of extinction; possibly 300 are left and the numbers are dwindling.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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