Traditional knowledge and community owned solutions in conservation and development. A trainer’s guide

The aim of the trainer’s guide is to improve the capacity of Indigenous leaders and staff in government agencies and civil society organisations to strengthen and support inclusivity of Indigenous and local peoples in national decision-making and to safeguard their traditional knowledge, innovations and practices.

Version: English

Trainer’s presentation: English

Community videos can be found here

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Participatory video tutorials

These short films are a series of tutorials to help facilitators and community researchers to use participatory video.

Version: English (with subtitles)

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E-module: Traditional knowledge, it’s importance and relevance for conservation and development

The aim of this free e-module is to gain a good understanding what traditional knowledge is and the numerous benefits from ensuring its continued use and wider inclusion; to improve understanding of what good traditional knowledge inclusion looks like and how it can be achieved; to know how to engage with Indigenous and local communities in a respectful way; to explore common challenges for the inclusion of traditional knowledge and ways to overcome these; to highlight international Conventions and resources that support the inclusion of Indigenous and local people’s rights and traditional knowledge.

Version: English

PDF: English

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Community mental health resilience handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to guide health and social care practitioners in their work with communities on community mental health resilience using participatory visual approaches. It contains elements of understanding mental health especially from a community perspective in the Global South. It also provides an outline for how to create and share digital stories and finally, how to evaluate the effectiveness of any such community intervention.

Version: English

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How to find and share 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.

Versions: EnglishFrenchSpanishPortuguese

Participatory video for facilitators

This free online course will introduce you to participatory video techniques and approaches both from a theoretical and a practical point of view. The course will give you some basic skills in video-making and the knowledge you need to facilitate groups and support them to tell their stories. This course is designed with a lot of visual material such as videos and quizzes to help you learn in a fun and engaging way.

Version: English, Hindi, Arabic (coming soon!)

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Grassroots visual storytelling

The stories we tell each other are what makes or breaks a community. There are positive, uplifting stories which bring people together and galvanise action. But there are also destructive, demoralising stories which tear communities apart. This free online course will introduce you to grassroots visual storytelling and to the basic skills for producing visual stories using a smartphone or tablet.

Version: English

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Community mental health resilience

This free online course is aimed at individuals working at community level, such as health and social care practitioners, that are keen to promote existing positive community mental health practices and help transform the dominant community mindset from one that is negative to one that appreciates the good that is present in one’s community. It contains elements of understanding mental health especially from a community perspective in the Global South, and gives concrete examples of how community resilience was developed in specific contexts and instructions for how to use a participatory action research approach to achieve this. The course also provides an outline for how to create and share digital stories and finally, how to evaluate the effectiveness of any such community intervention.

Version: English

Pantani Book – 33 Amerindian Tales from the North Rupununi, Guyana

If you happen to visit the Rupununi region of Guyana, and take a hike with a local guide, it is likely you will hear plenty of fascinating stories and legends, as it happened to me. At the end of January 2014, I travelled to the south of Guyana with a group of researchers and had an opportunity to visit a place called ‘Skull Mountain’. During the trip, our local guide shared many tales and stories about the rivers, and valleys that surrounded us. It felt like being walked through an old town, with its church, its streets and its main square. The place was buzzing with memories and legends, evidencing the close ties between local communities and their environment. Of course, this is a subtle relationship, one that does not immediately spring to the eye of the foreign observer. It is without material evidence, marks or scars. Instead, it is deeply spiritual and largely invisible. What appears as thousands of hectares of wild savannah, forests and mountains is in fact the result of a mutual relationship, where human beings shape their environment and their environment, in turn, influences who they are and what they believe in. No wonder Indigenous territories also happen to be amongst the most preserved habitats on earth.

Pantani – pronounced ‘pan-duh-nee’ — means “stories” in Makushi, the language of the Indigenous peoples of the North Rupununi, Guyana. It is also the chosen name for a digital storytelling project, which took place be- tween June 2014 and May 2015 with the help of local storytellers Lakeram Haynes, Grace Albert, Abigail Allicock, Kenneth Butler and Janissa Roberts. All stories were originally published online, on a blog called www.pantaniblog.org. This book proposes a selection of the best ones.

Download the book (pdf)

Safeguarding traditional knowledge: how to better recognise and include traditional knowledge in biodiversity conservation

This policy brief describes a new multimethod approach and how it can be used to support governments, civil society as well as Indigenous peoples and local communities to advance the safeguarding of traditional knowledge and achieve progress on global biodiversity and development goals.

Version: EnglishSpanish

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Covid-19 impacts on Indigenous food sovereignty, livelihoods and biodiversity, Guyana

This report presents work from a Darwin Initiative Covid-19 Rapid Response grant that ran from January to March 2021 in the North Rupununi, Guyana. With a long-term aim to enhance Indigenous food sovereignty and agroecological knowledge that sustains livelihoods, culture and biodiversity, we were interested in exploring how Indigenous communities have been impacted by and responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. More specifically, we looked at local livelihoods, leadership, and if/how farming activities changed, and their potential impacts on forest cover and biodiversity.

Version: English

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Eco-hydrological assessment of the North Rupununi Wetlands: monitoring and assessment

This report presents the findings from a project to map the hydrological link and surface water dynamics between the Amazon and Essequibo basins, to strengthen the conservation of the North Rupununi Wetlands, Guyana. The project used high-resolution aerial mapping, remote sensing analysis and ground-truthing. This allowed to precisely identify the spatial and temporal dynamics that allow the waters of the Amazon and Essequibo basins to meet. The work also produced detailed vegetation, elevation and hydrological maps, which can support decision-making with regards to existing and proposed developments.

Version: English

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Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 14.31.04Up-Scaling Support for Community Owned Solutions

Having evaluated the impact of the community identification, recording and sharing process, Project COBRA demonstrated that Indigenous community owned solutions can offer practical instruments to address challenges in sustainable development and the management of natural resources. These solutions can be a source of inspiration for other communities, as well as providing an effective and popular intervention for policy makers and governments to support.

Version: English

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