Re-establishing the inextricable link: Mbyá culture and biological diversity in the Atlantic Rainforest in Southeast Brazil

Project Contributors: Márcia Gomes de Oliveira and Norbert Suchanek The Mbyá are one of the last surviving indigenous peoples of the Atlantic Rainforest in the Southeast of Brazil, known as Mata Atlântica, which once covered part of Paraguay, Uruguay, the North of Argentina and the whole coastal areas all the way to the Brazilian Northeast.

Training Indigenous Agro-Forestry Agents in Acre, Brazil: Indigenous and Modern Technologies for Sustainability

Project Contributors: Giulia Pedone, Renato Gavazzi The Kaxinawá people of Acre, Brazil Credit: CPI/Ac archives The Amazon region has largely been perceived as a boundless territory with unlimited resources to exploit. Due to its low population density, it has been viewed as an “empty space” to be colonized and to be integrated into

Protection of an Indigenous Reserve: the Ka’apor People of Amazonian Brazil

Project Contributor: William Balée The Ka’apor emerged as a people with a distinctive identity about three hundred years ago, probably between the Tocantins and Xingu Rivers in the Amazon Basin. They later engaged in a long and slow migration that took them into Maranhão State, in eastern Amazonian Brazil, by the 1870s. One hundred years

A “Life Plan” for the Park: Culturally Appropriate Management in Brazil’s Xingu Indigenous Park

Project Contributor: Darron Collins Mapping traditional territories in the Xingu Indigenous Park. Credit: Amazon Conservation Team The concept of “National Park” in Brazil incorporates the dual objectives of protecting the environment and the indigenous populations living within its boundaries. Parks are administered by the National Indian Foundation (known in Brazil as FUNAI) and

Promoting Cultural and Biological Diversity: An Educational Program for Rural Communities in Peru

Project Contributor: Jorge Ishizawa with Grimaldo Rengifo Teaching the children in the Upper Amazon region of Peru Credit: Jorge Ishizawa The Peruvian Andes are recognized as a major site of biological diversity in the world. The Andes have 82 of the planet’s 103 life zones, that is, 80% of the ecoclimatic zones existing

Protecting Territories and Biodiversity: Indigenous Capacity Building in Ecuador

Project Contributor: Joao de Queiroz A high level of community participation and capacity building in the development of resource management plans helps foster biodiversity conservation on indigenous lands in Ecuador Credit: Joao de Queiroz Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park comprises almost one million hectares of exceptional biological diversity and includes species such as the

Tools for Biocultural Diversity Conservation: Community Mapping of Indigenous Peoples’ Traditional Lands in Venezuela

Project Contributor: Stanford Zent Hotï people drying cane for blowguns Credit: 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

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

Reviving Traditional Seed Exchange and Cultural Knowledge in Rural Costa Rica

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

Strengthening Indigenous Cultural Heritage through Capacity Building in Costa Rica

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,