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

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

Engaging Communities to ensure Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC)

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On-going community outreach in the Rupununi Community engagement continues, as the Darwin Initiative project focused on the Traditional Knowledge and its role in Biodiversity Conservation, seeks to ensure a Free, Prior and Informed Consent process. Project team member Grace Albert shares her experience after completing Kanuku Mountains community visits. Recently, a team from the Darwin project visited the communities in Central Rupununi, Region 9, thus completing our round of visits to all communities associated with the Kanuku Mountains Protected Area. … Read More

Screening community videos with policymakers

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Phase 2 – analysing films and collating information http://projectcobra.org/wp-content/uploads/Integrating-traditional-knowledge-02.mp4 Over the past year of the project, Indigenous communities in the protected areas of Guyana have begun making videos on the importance of traditional knowledge to these places. This video showcases the next phase of the project which involves analysing the videos and collating the information into short videos to be screened to policymakers in Georgetown.

Looking Ahead: engaging the policy makers

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Community engagement has been going well and the team is working toward fine-tuning the first set of Community Videos that will be screened to decision-makers. As that time approaches, the team benefited from some more training. The communities of the North Rupununi have captured their opinions through participatory video on issues related to traditional knowledge and protected areas. As the final videos are being compiled, we have begun to think about the process of engaging the policy makers. To do … Read More

Documenting community owned solutions in the North Rupununi

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In April and May, the NRDDB Darwin Team visited the North Rupununi villages associated with the Iwokrama Forest to begin documenting their community owned solutions for managing the protected area. Bernie Robertson, NRDDB Community Researcher reports on their activities. During the trip, the team provided additional training to the community researchers in using transcripts to sort their videos. They also assessed progress made in making the three videos on traditional knowledge and protected areas. Following this, they began working alongside … Read More

Masakanarî Village: The Unexpected

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Engaging with Guyana’s only ‘Community-Owned’ Conservation Area The Darwin field team recently visited the Wai Wai indigenous community of Masakanari in the Kanashen District. Full support for the TK project was evident as community members participated in training and had a chance to engage their fellow community members through interviews as they practiced what they were learning about participatory video. Author – Bernie Robertson It was decided! We were going to the end of Guyana, Konashen – Wai Wai Territory … Read More

Traditional knowledge challenges and community owned solutions

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Exploring issues and opportunities Building capacity was not the only activity the local North Rupununi District Development Board team was engaged in during their visits to the communities of Apoteri, Rewa, Aranaputa and Fair View. The team also worked with community members to explore the challenges they believed they were facing when it came to their traditional knowledge. The villagers were asked to work on two main tasks. The first was to identify challenges to traditional knowledge related to both … Read More

First meeting of the Participatory and Intercultural Fire Management Network

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  Sharing experiences and developing action plans Between the 8-11 July 2015, more than 60 Indigenous, institutional and academic representatives from Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana and the UK came together at the Estación Científica Parupa, with the support of the Comunidad Indígena Kavanayén, Gran Sabana, Venezuela. This first meeting of the Participatory and Intercultural Fire Management Network aimed at exploring ‘community owned’ Indigenous fire management i.e. fire management practices that emerge out of the traditional wisdom and experiences of Indigenous communities … Read More