The “Andean Project for Peasant Technologies” (Proyecto Andino para las Tecnologías Campesinas, PRATEC) is a Peruvian NGO founded in 1988 and devoted to the recovery and valorisation of traditional agricultural practices and associated knowledge. PRATEC participates in the efforts of Andean Amazonian peasant communities to counter the socially and ecologically destructive effects of industrial agriculture and governmental agrarian policies. By using local knowledge and the practice of traditional “ritual agriculture” and through adopting a non-dualistic, eco-centric worldview, PRATEC supports the resurgence of local approaches to agriculture, which it sees as radically opposed to Western industrial agriculture. The Andean peasant practice of ritual agriculture embraces kinship-oriented visions of the land and encourages empathetic actions that illustrate respect for all living entities of the biosphere. Agricultural activities include ritual actions, utterances, and offerings that express both a deep respect for Pachamama (Mother Earth) and communitarian aspects that characterize the worldview of the Andean people.
The project “Conservation in Managed Indigenous Areas”, or CAIMAN (Conservación en Áreas Indígenas Manejadas), was funded by USAID and implemented by Chemonics International Inc. in 2002-2007, in consultation with Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations (IPOs), primarily representatives of indigenous federations. The project focused mainly on supporting the Awa, Cofan and Huaorani indigenous groups and their respective federations, although it also provided some support to Chachi, Siona, Achuar, Kichua and Secoya populations. Work plans were developed through a combination of workshops with IPOs and consultations with organizations that have worked with these groups for many years. The project’s goals were to foster biodiversity conservation by helping secure indigenous legal rights on ancestral lands; strengthen cultural identity and key cultural elements such as language and traditional medicine; and promote income-generating activities that are compatible with the local indigenous communities’ socio-cultural and environmental setting and are both ecologically and economically sustainable (for example, eco-tourism—which is not feasible without a healthy ecosystem—and the production of handcrafts). As well, by ensuring that Indigenous Peoples were fully integrated into the development and implementation of work plans, the project enhanced capacity for biodiversity conservation within indigenous federations.
Tools for Biocultural Diversity Conservation: Community Mapping of Indigenous Peoples’ Traditional Lands in Venezuela
Project Contributor: Stanford Zent In 1999, the national constitution of Venezuela gave explicit recognition to the land rights and cultural rights of the country’s indigenous peoples. Following passage of the new constitution and subsequent demarcation laws, several indigenous groups began taking the initiative to carry out the demarcation of their lands on their
Tejedores de Vida: Revitalizing Indigenous Identity and Nature-Based Knowledge in a Muisca community, Colombia
Project Contributors: Gabriel Nemogá with Carlos Mamanché The Muisca people, living at altitudes between 1200 and 3200m above sea level in the valleys of the central region of the Andean mountains in the northeast part of South America (the savannah of Bogotá, Colombia) were so named by the Spanish conquerors. The Muisca people’s existence was
Project Contributor: Felipe Montoya Greenheck In Costa Rica, agrobiodiversity has been lost because of market pressures on agricultural production. The demand for high-volume, standardized production has been a disincentive for the continued cultivation of low-yield traditional seeds, even though the traditional varieties have for generations been selected for their higher nutritional value and their adaptations
Project Contributors: Hugh Govan with Rigoberto Carrera There are eight indigenous groups in Costa Rica, numbering some 63,800 people, which comprise 1.7% of the national population. Half of them are now settled in 24 reservations or territories, which cover an area of approximately 325,470ha or 6.3% of Costa Rica. The indigenous groups are: the Cabécar,
Learning That Wisdom Sits In Places: Apache Students Reconnecting To Land and Identity In Arizona, US
Project Contributors: Jonathan Long and Judy DeHose Over three decades ago years ago, nearly 300 places of cultural importance to the Apache people in the valleys surrounding Cibecue, Arizona were mapped and photographed by anthropologist Keith Basso with the help of Apache tribal elders. The results were published by Basso in 1996, in
Supporting Traditional Health Practices in Urban Areas: Indigenous Theory for First Nations Health in Canada
The dissertation project “Indigenous Theory for Health: Enhancing Traditional-Based Indigenous Health Services in Vancouver”, completed in 2005, was supported by the University of British Columbia and by grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)-funded BC Aboriginal Capacity and Developmental Research Environment (BC ACADRE). It was developed from the informal recommendations of traditional Indigenous
Recovering the Connection between People and the Environment through Ancestral Law in British Columbia, Canada
Project Contributor: Patricia Vickers The Nisga’a People of the Nass River have lived on the northwest coast of British Columbia, Canada for generations - long enough for a culture to thrive, adapt, and endure. For the Nisga’a Nation, the meaning of the relationship between people and the environment is found in metaphor and stories. This
Traditional Knowledge for Sustainability: Land use Planning among the Gitxaala of British Columbia, Canada
Project Contributor: Charles Menzies For many generations, the Gitxaala people have lived in their territories along the north coast of what is now British Columbia, Canada. Gitxaala laws (Ayawwk) and history (Adaawk) describe in precise detail the relationships of trust, honour and respect that are appropriate for the well-being and continuance of the