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What everyone needs to know about the Amazon

LAKEVILLE — Ethnobotanist and author Mark J. Plotkin speaks on “Rainforest Conservation and the Search for New Jungle Medicines” on Friday, Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m. at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville as part of the Salisbury Forum series.“Are you interested in clean air? Are you interested in medicines when you’re sick? Are you interested in biodegradable pesticides or organic fertilizers?” asked Plotkin in a brief telephone interview Monday, Sept. 12.“Then you are interested and have a stake in the preservation of the Amazon.”Plotkin paused for a moment, and added, “Try this one: What the hell is an Amazon ethnobotanist doing being named Social Entrepreneur of the Year?”Plotkin achieved this recognition from the Skoll Foundation in 2008, along with Liliana Marigal, with whom Plotkin founded the Amazon Conservation Team, to protect Amazonian rain forests.Plotkin, who speaks very rapidly, wound up the conversation with this tidbit: He will discuss “ancient shamanic wisdom and 21st-century technological know-how.”

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