Building capacity for improved inclusion of traditional knowledge

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The Darwin Project in Guyana – “Integrating traditional knowledge into national policy and practice” this week facilitated a training course specifically aimed at building the capacity of decision-makers in the area of traditional knowledge. All project activities are aligned to support progress towards the achievement of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)’s Aichi target 18. This course addresses the urgent call for increased levels of awareness and efforts to promote the inclusion of traditional knowledge at the national level. The … Read More

Erasmus+ trainee Julia Jung joins the Collective

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We are delighted to welcome Julia Jung who has just started a 6 month Erasmus+ traineeship with the Cobra Collective. In this article, she tells us a little about her interests, expectations and first week! I have a background in marine and freshwater biology, and my recently completed Master’s thesis focused on using an action research approach for addressing coastal management in Sri Lanka. Dr Andrea Berardi was one of my supervisors and while working on my thesis, I became … Read More

Indigenous Heritage 2020: Traditional knowledge directly supports conservation efforts

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  It has been a delight to have shared several videos that have been produced through the on-going Darwin Initiative Traditional Knowledge in Conservation project here in Guyana. As you have seen, these videos showcase a wide array of the traditional knowledge and practices possessed by Guyana’s first peoples – Amerindians. From their unique foods and how they are prepared, to their knowledge of traditional medicines, or from their handicraft making skills to their use of traditional tools that support … Read More

Indigenous Heritage 2020: Elders are the community’s historians

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  Elders are important members of Indigenous communities. They possess decades of knowledge linked to the history of their village and the many cultural and livelihood practices that are passed to the younger generation through demonstrating know-how, storytelling and other cultural activities such as dancing or ceremonial rituals. One wise proverb truthfully states: “When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground”. Community elders – both male and female – have a wealth of knowledge which, especially today, is … Read More

Indigenous Heritage 2020: Traditional tools

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  Traditional tools are an essential aspect of Indigenous life, even to today. From the use of clay for pottery, making of warashees, matapee and mats from various palm tree leaves by weaving or plaiting, or crafting bows and arrows for hunting purposes, we see a wealth of knowledge about the natural resources needed and the skills to craft the products. This knowledge is not well documented, but rather, as most traditional knowledge is, kept alive through the share of … Read More

Indigenous Heritage 2020: Importance of Cassava bread making

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As highlighted in one of last week’s featured videos, cassava is an important crop that is cultivated by the Indigenous peoples of Guyana. Cassava bread and farine are well known foods of Indigenous peoples here. Both are made from the cassava root after being grated and squeezed dry using a matapee. From there, baking produces the cassava ‘bread’, while frying produces the farine. Both end-products are known to last for long periods before being unsuitable for consumption if stored properly. … Read More

Indigenous Heritage 2020: Uses of the lime tree

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  Today we will focus on yet another facet of knowledge that Indigenous peoples possess – knowledge and use of traditional medicine. These are usually associated with the various parts of a plant or tree – the fruit, seed, leaf or even its bark. Such knowledge has no doubt been crucial to their health and wellbeing over the centuries. This is especially true given the fact that Indigenous peoples are well known to live great distances from hospital facilities. While … Read More

Indigenous Heritage 2020: Traditional uses of cotton

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  Indigenous peoples are skilled in the art of creating many different handicrafts from a variety of materials. These skills, as is the case with most other traditional customs, are passed from the elders to younger generations. Some handicraft skills are customarily practiced by the men while others are specific to women. For example, males are more known to engage in handicraft skills associated with woodcraft, such as totem poles and making of traditional weapons – bows and arrows and … Read More

Learning lessons from integrated fire management in Venezuela

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As we start drawing together data and evidence from Indigenous fire management in Venezuela as part of the LANDMARC project, Collective member and project leader, Bibiana Bilbao, presents some thoughts to Diálogo Chino on what we have learnt so far, and the potential lessons for neighbouring countries such as Colombia. Read the article here: https://dialogochino.net/es/clima-y-energia-es/36931-lo-que-colombia-esta-aprendiendo-de-venezuela-en-manejo-integral-del-fuego/

Indigenous Heritage 2020: Story of Horse Pond

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  Storytelling is one way in which Indigenous people pass knowledge down through the generations. It is an ongoing process linking the past to the present, and the present to the past and future. Storytelling is therefore important in transmitting essential and critical knowledge for survival and ensuring a healthy and sustainable community. Stories have many functions. They help to provide guidance on how people should behave and understand their responsibilities to their neighbours and the environment. They acknowledge the … Read More

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