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.
Trainer’s presentation: English
Community videos can be found here
These short films are a series of tutorials to help facilitators and community researchers to use participatory video.
Version: English (with subtitles)
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Mistry, J. and Shaw, J. (2021). Evolving social and political dialogue through participatory video processes. Progress in Development Geography, 21(2): [online]
- Bilbao, B., Millán, A., Mistry, J., Salazar-Gascón, R. and Gómez, R. (2021). To Burn or not to Burn? The history behind the construction of a new paradigm of fire management in Venezuela through interculturality. Biodiversidade Brasileira, 11(2):99-127. [online]
- Mistry, J., Berardi, A., Bignante, E., Jafferally, D., Nuzzo, C., Albert, G., Xavier, R., Robertson, B., Haynes, L. and Benjamin, R. (2021). The lasting impact of peer research with Indigenous communities of Guyana, South America. In: Bell, S., Aggleton, P. and Gibson, A. (eds). Peer research in health and social development: International perspectives on participatory research. London: Routledge. [online]
- Mistry, J., Jafferally, D., Ingwall-King, L. and Mendonca, S. (2020). Indigenous Knowledge. In: Kobayashi, A. (Ed.). International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 2nd edition. vol. 7, pp. 211–215. Elsevier: London.
- Bilbao, B., Mistry J., Millán,A. and Berardi, A. (2019). Sharing Multiple Perspectives on Burning: Towards a Participatory and Intercultural Fire Management Policy in Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. Fire, 2(3): 39. [online]
- Mistry, J., Schmidt, I., Eloy, L. and Bilbao, B. (2019). New perspectives in fire management in South American savannas: the importance of intercultural governance. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 48(2): 172–17.
- Berardi, A., Mistry, J., Haynes, L., Jafferally, D., Bignante, E., Albert, G., Xavier, R., Benjamin, R. and de Ville, G. (2017). Using visual approaches with Indigenous communities. In: Oreszczyn, S. & Lane, A. (eds.). Mapping environmental sustainability. Bristol: The Policy Press, p. 103-129.
- Bignante, E., Mistry, J., Berardi, A. and Tschirhart, C. (2016). Feeling and acting ‘different’: emotions and shifting self-perceptions whilst facilitating a participatory video process. Emotion, Space and Society, 21: 5-12.
- Mistry, J. and Berardi, A. (2016). Complementing Indigenous community owned solutions with scientific knowledge. Science, 352(6291): 1274-1275.
- Mistry, J., Berardi, A., Tschirhart, C., Bignante, E., Haynes, L., Benjamin, R., Albert, G., Xavier, R., Robertson, B., Davis, O., Jafferally, D. and de Ville, G. (2016). Community owned solutions: identifying local best practices for social-ecological sustainability. Ecology and Society, 21(2):42. [online]
- Tschirhart, C., Mistry, J., Berardi, A., Bignante, E., Simpson, M., Haynes, L., Benjamin, R., Albert, G., Xavier, R., Robertson, B., Davis, O., Verwer, C., de Ville, G. and Jafferally, D. (2016). Learning from one another: the effectiveness of horizontal knowledge exchange for natural resource management and governance. Ecology and Society, 21(2):41. [online]
- Oteros-Rozas, E., Martín-López, B., Daw, T., Bohensky, E., Butler, J., Hill, R., Martin-Ortega, J., Quinlan, A., Ravera, F., Ruiz-Mallén, I., Thyresson, M., Mistry, J., Palomo, I., Peterson, G., Plieninger, T., Waylen, K., Beach, D., Bohnet, I., Hamann, M., Hanspach, J., Hubacek, K., Lavorel, S. and Vilardy, S. (2015). Participatory scenario-planning in place-based social-ecological research: insights and experiences from 23 case studies. Ecology and Society, 20(4): 32. [online]
- Berardi, A., J. Mistry, C. Tschirhart, E. Bignante, O. Davis, L. Haynes, R. Benjamin, G. Albert, R. Xavier, D. Jafferally and G. De Ville. (2015). Applying the system viability framework for cross-scalar governance of nested social-ecological systems in the Guiana Shield, South America. Ecology and Society, 20(3): 42. [online]
- Mistry, J., Berardi, A., Bignante, E. and Tschirhart, C. (2015). Between a rock and a hard place: ethical dilemmas of local community facilitators doing participatory projects. Geoforum, 61: 27-35.
- Mistry, J., Berardi, A., Tschirhart, C., Bignante, E., Haynes, L., Benjamin, R., Albert, G., Xavier, Jafferally, D. and de Ville, G. (2014). Indigenous identity and environmental governance in Guyana, South America. Cultural Geographies, 22(4): 689-712.
- Mistry, J., Tschirhart, C., Verwer, C., Glastra, R., Davis, O., Jafferally, D., Haynes, L., Benjamin, R., Albert, G., Xavier, R., Bovolo, I. and Berardi, A. (2014). Our common future? Cross-scalar scenario analysis for social-ecological sustainability of the Guiana Shield, South America. Environmental Science & Policy, 44: 126-148.
- Tschirhart, C., Berardi, A., Mistry, J., Bignante, E., Verwer, C., Glastra, R., de Ville, G., Davis, O., de Souza, C., Haynes, L., Benjamin, R., Albert, G., Xavier, R., Jafferally, D. and Abraham, J. (2014). Las políticas de cambio climático y las prácticas locales sostenibles: una evaluación de sinergias y conflictos en el Escudo Guayanés, América del Sur. Redesma, 14, art. 9. [online]
- Mistry, J., Bignante, E. and Berardi, A. (2014). Why are we doing it? Exploring participant motivations within a participatory video project. Area, 48(4): 412-418.
- Berardi, A., Tschirhart, C., Mistry, J., Bignante, E., Haynes, L., Albert, G., Benjamin, R., Xavier, R. and Jafferally, D. (2013). From resilience to viability: a case study of indigenous communities of the North Rupununi, Guyana. EchoGéo, 24. [online]
- Mistry, J., Berardi, A., Haynes, L., Davis, D., Xavier, R. and Andries, J. (2013). The role of social memory in natural resource management: insights from participatory video. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 39(1): 115-127.
- Mistry, J. (2013). Commentary on participatory video. J-Reading: Journal of Research and Didactics in Geography, 1 [online]
- Mistry, J., and Berardi, A. (2012). The challenges and opportunities of using participatory video in geographical research: a case study exploring collaboration with indigenous communities of the North Rupununi, Guyana. Area, 44(1): 110-116.
- Mistry, J. and Bizerril, M. (2011). Por que é importante entender as inter-relações entre pessoas, fogo e áreas protegidas?. Biodiversidade Brasileira, 1(2): 40-49. [online]
- Mistry, J., Berardi, A., Roopsind, I., Davis, O., Haynes, L., Davis, O. and Simpson, M. (2011). Capacity building for adaptive management: a problem-based learning approach. Development in Practice, 21(2): 190-204.
- Mistry, J., Berardi, A., Simpson, M., Davis, O. and Haynes, L. (2010). Evaluating integrated conservation and development projects as viable social-ecological systems: assessing the impact of the North Rupununi Adaptive Management Process, Guyana. Geographical Journal, 176(3): 241-252.
- Mistry, J., Berardi, A. and Mcgregor, D. (2009). Natural resource management and development discourses in the Caribbean: reflections on the Guyanese and Jamaican experience. Third World Quarterly, 30: 969-989.
- Mistry, J., Berardi, A. and Simpson, M. (2009). Critical reflections on practice: the changing roles of three physical geographers carrying out research in a developing country. Area, 41(1): 82-93.
- Mistry, J., Berardi, A. and Simpson, M. (2008). Birds as indicators of wetland status and change in the North Rupununi, Guyana. Biodiversity and Conservation, 17: 2383-2409.
- Mistry, J., Berardi, A., Andrade, V., Krahô, T., Krahô, P. and Leonardos, O. (2005). Indigenous fire management in the cerrado of Brazil: the case of the Krahô of Tocantíns. Human Ecology, 33(3): 365-386.