This handbook emerges out of Project COBRA, a 3.5 year research project, funded by the European Commission. The aim of the project was to explore, record and disseminate community owned solutions within the Guiana Shield region of South America.

The project involved the participation of a number of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) across Europe and South America, in collaboration with several European research institutions. These organisations developed and tested the approach described in this handbook through the support of a number of indigenous communities in the Guiana Shield. We worked with a group of 5 to 8 community participants who were, after training, responsible for engaging with other communities across the region.

Although developed in the Guiana Shield this handbook is designed to be as flexible as possible so it can be adapted to work with a range of communities in different contexts.

Promoting Community Owned Solutions

The main aim of this handbook is to promote community owned solutions by proposing approaches that respond to current and future challenges to sustainability, natural resources management and biodiversity conservation.

The handbook introduces key concepts and techniques which underpin a participatory and systems approach to community engagement.

Its hands-on approach can help marginalised communities build up practical skills for exploring, recording and disseminating their own community owned solutions.


The Handbook is available and can be downloaded in four languages:

English French Spanish Portuguese