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Editorial

Tapping traditional knowledge

As the first United Nations conference on indigenous peoples gets underway in New York this week, we focus on how tribal communities and their knowledge of the land they have lived on for generations are playing a growing role in conservation. In Peru, a conservation group is trying to strike a balance between native people’s needs and the rising pressures on the ecosystem to protect the Manú National Park. But, it’s not easy with some local tribes living in self-imposed isolation as Carl Gierstorfer discovered in his television report. In our background article, Louise Osborne spoke with an advocate of indigenous peoples’ rights who says more needs to be done to ensure tribal perspectives are an integral part of conservation projects.

Next week on Global Ideas

Tunisia's jelly fish woes

The Mediterranean Sea is carpeted with jelly fish during summer. Rising temperatures have helped to distribute the stinging creatures across the ocean, scaring off tourists and affecting local fishermen. An invasive species of jellyfish is proving to be the biggest problem. In Tunisia, the situation has become so serious that a European Union project is working with the country to find a sustainable solution. Marine biologists are casting nets at a depth of 3.5 meters in the sea to trap the slimy unwelcome guests and prevent them from reaching fish stocks and tourist beaches. Tunisia also wants to put the jelly fish plague to good use. Scientists are extracting collagen substances from the fish that can be used for the cosmetics industry. It's hoped it could offer an additional source of income for fishermen.