Dr. Kelly Bannister and Dr. Kerry R. Foresman's Incoming letter

By Dr. Kelly Bannister :

Adjunct Professor,
School of Environmental Studies
University of Victoria, BC ,Canada.

I am saddened to learn about this situation with the Smangus community andI am writing to add my support to the villagers' request to be granted a"not guilty" plea. In this email, am speaking as a Board member and Chairof the Ethics Committe of the International Society of Ethnobiology. Frommy personal and professional interactions with people of Smangus and withthe Taiwan universitiy and ngo colleagues copied on this email, I knowthere is great integrity in all your work and you have always maintainedand striven for highly respectful and ethical standards in yourrelationship with Indigenous peoples, government and the local andinternational scientific communities. Indeed, your large delegation fromTaiwan last November made a tremendous contribution to developing a newCode of Ethics for the International Society of Ethnobiology and ensuringits translation to Chinese. See http://ise.arts.ubc.ca/ethics.html

I cannot believe that Smangus villers would purposely act unethically and illegally. There appears to be a logical explanation for taking thecontroversial windfall for their use, and indeed their rationale andconduct seems reasonable under the circumstances. I strongly urgeofficials to accept the "not guilty plea" and use this situtation as apostive opportunity to strengthen communications between government andvilligers and, if needed, develop an agreed protocol for if such asituation arises in future so that all parties can interact respectfully.I have had great admiration for the Taiwan government in supportingTaiwan's Indigenous peoples in the recent years. I hope my admiration cancontinue and not to be diminished by the outcome of this troubling event.

Sincerely,Kelly Bannister

Kelly Bannister, M.Sc., Ph.D.Director,
POLIS Project on Ecological Governance
Adjunct Professor, School of Environmental Studies
University of Victoria

PO Box 3050, University House 4
University of Victoria
Victoria, BC V8W 3R4

website: www.polisproject.org


By Dr. Kerry Foresman:

Professor of Biology and Wildlife Biology
Division of Biological Sciences
The University of Montana


I am very sorry to hear that this event has occurred and that these individuals are being prosecuted. I would be glad to add my name to thosewho protest this prosecution. The last time I was in Smangus Lahwy videotaped me speaking about the cypress trees and the villagers reverence forthese forests. Though this doesn't deal specifically with Zelkova I did talkabout the importance of these forests to the villagers and it would seemappropriate for my talk to be posted if Lahwy still has this video. I can'tread any of the postings on this web site since they are all in Chinese; isan English version available?

It is very nice to hear from you even though it is about a problem likethis. Please keep me informed about this case. I think about everyone often.

Kerry R. Foresman
Professor of Biology and Wildlife Biology
Division of Biological Sciences
The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812 406-243-4492

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