Building capacity to use drones for mapping

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Since 2017, the Cobra Collective has been working with members of the Rupununi Wildlife Research Unit to map the precise location of the hydrological link between the Amazon and Essequibo basins – one of only two places in South America where the waters from the Amazon basin mix with waters from another watershed. This mixing of waters occurs in the Rupununi Wetlands of Guyana, enabling the development of one of the most aquatically biodiverse regions in the world, with over … Read More

Languages without borders

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In Guyana, many of our Indigenous Nations reside along the borders of our country and have a strong familial and cultural link to the Indigenous groups that live in Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname. In the current times of hardship faced by many Venezuelan Indigenous groups, cross border languages are being used to provide assistance that is in dire need. International Mother Language Day (celebrated on the 21st February each year) is designated to promote linguistic and cultural diversity, and multilingualism. … Read More

Pilot training in traditional knowledge integration for local stakeholders in Guyana

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As the Darwin Initiative project ‘Integrating traditional knowledge into national policy and practice‘ completes year three of implementation, the project team found themselves extra busy as 2020 began. Lots of work went into fine-tuning and finalizing material for the training course “Traditional knowledge integration for conservation and development”. Aimed at representatives of governmental organizations, civil society groups/NGOs and Indigenous leaders, the course aims to build capacity of stakeholders, not only be more knowledgeable of traditional knowledge, but also to better … Read More

Progress towards greater recognition and integration of traditional knowledge in Guyana

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The Darwin Initiative ‘Integrating Traditional Knowledge into National Policy and Practice‘ project has been working closely with Indigenous communities associated with protected areas in Guyana since its commencement in September 2017. The focus has been on the valuable role of traditional knowledge for maintaining cultural heritage, and the application of such knowledge, practices and innovations towards improving the management of the country’s natural resources. As highlighted in the country’s Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040, “Traditional Indigenous knowledge is valid … Read More

Bridging the north south divide

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There aren’t many opportunities for young people from the North and South Rupununi to meet, share information and spend time interacting with each other. In this article, we hear from Marshalla Perry from Maruranau Village in the South Rupununi, who spent three months as an intern on the Darwin traditional knowledge project, based at the NRDDB office in the North Rupununi. It has been with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to work with the NRDDB team through the … Read More

Hearing from community researchers – testimonials from the Darwin Traditional Knowledge project

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Much of the work we do is through local community researchers. These peer researchers are recognised members of, and have kinship, ties, and alliances, with the Indigenous communities with whom research is taking place. They play a vital role in ensuring that the information collected is representative, respectful of different views and opinions, and that the research process is community owned. Here we hear from some community researchers working on the Darwin Traditional Knowledge and Conservation project about their experiences, … Read More

A journey up the Rupununi River for fieldwork in Apoteri and Rewa Villages – Part 2

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Onwards to Rewa, through the eyes of Grace Albert, Cobra Collective Consultant, Darwin Project The next day, we were on our way to Rewa Village where we would repeat a similar process of working with the local community researchers (their names are Devon and Peggy). The focus of Rewa’s community owned solution (COS) video is ‘traditional farming’. Fortunately, the journey to this community was sunny, unlike our boat ride a week before. This allowed us to really enjoy the beautiful … Read More

A journey up the Rupununi River for fieldwork in Apoteri and Rewa Villages – Part 1

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Working in Apoteri, through the eyes of Sean Mendonca, Policy & Technical Coordinator, Darwin Project It began with me jumping into a bus in Georgetown on a Monday afternoon. I arrived at my destination at about 8:30am – many hours later – the next morning in Annai Central. As I step out of the bus my excitement grows. It is a welcome break from my daily routine of sitting behind a computer screen in the office, and more importantly, I … Read More

My first community visit as a researcher

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Ena George joined the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) as a community researcher for the Darwin traditional knowledge project at the start of the year. As a young community researcher, here she reflects on her first community engagement visit. It was a day I will always remember – 20th May 2019. I had been in anticipation of this day because it would be the first time that I would travel to Crashwater village as a researcher. That morning, as … Read More

Mental health project kicks off in Guyana

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Over one billion people globally struggle with issues related to mental health, including depression, substance abuse and self-harm. Lack of research in implementation and policy change is further impeded by stigma, capacity shortages, and fragmented service delivery. In collaboration with Guyanese communities and stakeholders, and funded by the British Academy, the Cobra Collective is participating in ARCLIGHT (‘Action Research Community Led Initiative Guyana Health Team’), an ambitious new research project which will develop, implement and evaluate a capacity building and … Read More

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