Anthropologist and American geographer, born in Henderson (Kentucky) on March 14, 1947 and died in Oxford on 6 March 2001. After completing primary studies, he obtained a degree in entomology from the University of Louisiana in 1969, a master's degree by the Department of geography and anthropology at the same University, and the Ph.d. from the University of Georgia.
Since 1977 he worked in the Brazilian Amazon, under the patronage of the Paraense Emilio Goeldi Museum, as a visiting professor at the Federal University of Maranhão. In 1986 he was appointed research associate of the National Institute of science and technology of Brazil (CNPq), and director of the program of Ethnobiology of the Paraense Emilio Goeldi Museum in Belém, Pará (Brazil).
From 1980 to 1982 he was a postdoctoral researcher of the Center for studies of Latin America and visiting professor at the Institute of development and program of education of the University of Pittsburgh (USA).UU.), which combined with his activity at the research society the University Center for international studies at the same University and research associate of the Carnegie Museum of Natural history, also in Pittsburgh. From 1982 he was coordinator of the research team interdisciplinary of Ethnobiology in the territory of the indigenous Kayapo. In 1987, he traveled to Washington accompanied by two heads Kayapó to denounce a gigantic water project. Finally, local and international initiatives got the World Bank suspended funding for the project, which would have been irreparable environmental damage to the Amazon. On his return to Brazil, Posey and the two Kayapo chiefs were accused of acting against the interests of the country.
Posey was President of the first International Congress of Ethnobiology and one of the founders of the international society of Ethnobiology, of which he was also President. As director of the Global Coalition for Biocultural Diversity, worked for a long time to establish a definition and global and common reflection of indigenous people and their traditions. In this field, was a consultant of the Council of the society of Ethnobiology of the Centre of indigenous knowledge for agriculture and Rural Development (Center for Indigenous Knowledge for Agriculture and Rural Development - CIKARD-). He was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Ethnobiology and Etnoecologica, and was editor of Biodiplomacy, an international newspaper of science, politics and diplomatic aspects of sustainable environmental development, as well as between diffuser discussions on biodiversity.
Dr. Posey was founder and scientific director of the Institute of Ethnobiology of the Amazon (INEA), dedicated to the responsible use of traditional indigenous knowledge and the preservation of cultural and biological diversity. He was also President of the ethnic Committee of the international society of Ethnobiology and member of the Committee on ethnic groups of the society for the development of anthropology.
In 1980 he received the first Chico Mendes award, for "outstanding courage in the defense of the Middle environment" awarded by the International Club, and in 1993 was awarded the United Nations Global 500 award for 'their outstanding environmental achievements'. From 1989 to 1991 was resident of the Zoologische Staatssammlung, of Munich, to the East of Germany, as a helper of the Foundation Alexander von Humboldt. Later he remained as a consultant in the Special Secretariat for the environment, Brazil.
In the last stage of his life, Darrell A. Posey was Assistant to associate the Linacre College of Oxford University, directed the Oxford Centre for the environment, ethics and society (Oxford Center for the Environment, Ethics and Society - OCEES-) and finally was a member of Mansfield College (University of Oxford). Since 1989 he coordinated an international working group on rights of protection of the knowledge of indigenous and traditional in matters medical, biological and other types, and since 1994 directed a program at OCEES devoted to its study and promoted an important series of seminars dedicated to intellectual reflection and political action in defense of the Amazon. In them he left the unique imprint of a personality that joined the scientific rigor of everything human interest.
Throughout his life, D. A. Posey published around 184 scientific articles and eight books, including: Resource management in Amazonia: indigenous and folk strategies (New York Botanical Garden, Advances in Economic Botany, no. 7, 1989, co-editado with William Balée); the 2nd volume Proceeding of the first international congress of Ethnobiology (CNPq/Museum Paraense Emilio goeldi Museum, Belém, Basil, 1990; co-edited with William Overal); Beyond intellectual property: towards traditional resources rights for indigenous peoples and Local Communities (IDRC, Ottawa, 1996); Traditional resources rights: international instruments for protection and compensation for indigenous peoples and local communities (IUCN, Gland, 1996) and Indigenous peoples and sustainability (IUCN and International Books, Utrecht, 1997). He also participated in the production and direction of fourteen films for television, including the award-winning Jungle Pharmacy.