Coping with Covid-19 in the North Rupununi

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It was the early part of March 2020, and we were in the midst of the national election season. All the communities were excited about who would be the next President. There was tension between the different political party supporters., and it was not long before we realised that there were issues with reporting the final results of the elections. And in all of this turmoil there came the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus otherwise known as Covid-19. The messages … Read More

Pilot training in traditional knowledge integration for local stakeholders in Guyana

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As the Darwin Initiative project ‘Integrating traditional knowledge into national policy and practice‘ completes year three of implementation, the project team found themselves extra busy as 2020 began. Lots of work went into fine-tuning and finalizing material for the training course “Traditional knowledge integration for conservation and development”. Aimed at representatives of governmental organizations, civil society groups/NGOs and Indigenous leaders, the course aims to build capacity of stakeholders, not only be more knowledgeable of traditional knowledge, but also to better … Read More

Progress towards greater recognition and integration of traditional knowledge in Guyana

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The Darwin Initiative ‘Integrating Traditional Knowledge into National Policy and Practice‘ project has been working closely with Indigenous communities associated with protected areas in Guyana since its commencement in September 2017. The focus has been on the valuable role of traditional knowledge for maintaining cultural heritage, and the application of such knowledge, practices and innovations towards improving the management of the country’s natural resources. As highlighted in the country’s Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040, “Traditional Indigenous knowledge is valid … Read More

Using MAZI’s to stimulate discussions on traditional knowledge

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As part of the Darwin Initiative project ‘Integrating traditional knowledge into national policy and practice‘, local Indigenous communities are making videos on their traditional knowledge and their relationship with protected areas. However, it is difficult to share and discuss these videos because of the lack of or unreliable internet access within some of these remote locations. Currently, the initial enthusiasm and momentum resulting from Darwin project video screenings is lost as the participating communities do not have the means for … 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

Indigenous knowledge and conservation management

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On the 9th April 2019, the project leader, Prof. Jay Mistry and co-leader Dr Lisa Ingwall-King, presented at the Zoological Society London (ZSL) symposium on Indigenous knowledge and conservation management: challenges and opportunities. Using the Darwin Initiative project ‘Integrating traditional knowledge into national policy and practice‘ as the focus of their talks, they showed the importance of integrating Indigenous knowledge for biocultural conservation and how participatory video can shed new light on the contribution of Indigenous knowledge to biodiversity conservation. … 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

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

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

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