Why should we care about Indigenous knowledge to save the world?

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The latest global assessment on nature and biodiversity, released in Paris on 6 May paints a dire picture on the state of biodiversity on Earth: One Million species are threatened of extinction if us humans do not radically change our ways and perform transformative changes to restore and protect Nature. Indigenous peoples manage or have tenure rights over land that intersects about 40% of all terrestrial protected areas and ecologically intact landscapes, highlighting how the maintenance of a significant share … Read More

How Indigenous knowledge contributes to Mother Earth

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Mother Earth is a common expression for our planet in a number of countries and regions. It is intended to reflect the inter-linkages that exist among the natural world and people. These include the interactions and interdependencies between the many natural processes occurring around us every day and all other living things. The Earth’s ecosystems provide the entire planet with fresh air, clean water and a host of other services which people benefit from – sometimes even unknowingly. Sadly, due … Read More

Travelling South: my first field trip

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Betsy Alvin, an intern on the Darwin Initiative Traditional Knowledge in Conservation in Guyana project, reflects on her visit community visit. Well! This was my first experience on a field trip going anywhere to do project work. Mr Bernie couldn’t go because his mom was ill and Ms. Rebecca couldn’t go by herself so they called me and said to pack because you are heading south. Going along with us would be Mr Neville Adolph, the new project community liaison … Read More

Parikwarunawa – Land of the heavy breeze!

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Continuing our trip, we moved from Maruranau to Parikwarunawa. Just after concluding the video screening, the team began packing to make an early departure the next day. Sigh! But it was not time for home and more so Christmas yet! But it was on my mind as we packed. We left on the 11th December for the next village clear back across the savanna to the south central district of the Rupununi. Close to Lethem that you could almost touch … Read More

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

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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 … Read More

Kaimen! Working with the Wapichan from the South Rupununi

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A team consisting of three – Ryan Benjamin, Rebecca Xavier and I (Grace Albert) – departed the north savannas for our journey to the south savannas on the 1st December, 2018. Driving through the North Rupununi Wetlands left the feeling of going away for a while. Bearing in mind, we were indeed going to be away for about 20 days.  The team overnighted in the township of Lethem to do our grocery shopping. The next day, after lunch, we were … 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

Participatory video empowering Indigenous youth

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Celebrating the United Nations International Youth Day Read our article in the latest Darwin Initiative Newsletter which features how our on-going project activities are seeking to empower youth in Indigenous communities. The article shows how the project is engaging young people through participatory video to explore how traditional knowledge contributes to conservation and the relationship between Indigenous communities and protected areas. It highlights the benefits of participatory video in providing skills and confidence to young people to research their own … 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.

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

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