Making knowledge work for forests and people
Through their daily practices, indigenous women have accumulated a specialized knowledge associated to agriculture, the establishment and maintenance of the chagra or conuco, the use of agrobiodiversity and the transformation and conservation of food, thus becoming the base of the family structure. Their role is fundamental in the transmission from generation to generation of agricultural knowledge that forms the base for food security and well-being of communities.21 July, 2014
The landscape approach has been widely embraced during recent years as a new paradigm or integrated vision. The aim? To ensure that land use planning, policies and management decisions maintain the resilience, productivity and sustainability of landscapes for the benefit of all the people who depend upon them. It is based on the concept that landscapes are multifunctional, dynamic and evolving entities composed of a mosaic of different uses (agriculture, forests, mining, urbanization…) which are highly interdependent.03 July, 2014
The campesino women from the Mortiño region in Colombia have created a dialogue platform to talk about about their community, their territory and the relevance of their actions for the regional development. This is how the weaving and embroidery afternoons that began a year ago are understood: they not only promote the discussion about the role of women in the páramos, but also rescue the knowledge related to the biological diversity of this ecosystem through the careful representation of orchids, frailejones and plants in general.
The project works in areas with fragile Andean-Amazonian ecosystems whose communities are trying to adapt to climate change. Based on real-life testimonies and case studies from the communities, the project compiles information about the impact of climate change and the adaptation practices that come from the traditional management of the natural resources and of the ecosystem. This information is gathered to develop public policy recommendations and advocacy activities to help Andean and Amazonian communities cope with the impacts of climate change.
The project is implemented by IUCN and SPDA and takes place in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia. TBI Colombia facilitates the project in Colombia, coordinating initiatives and elaborating base line studies in the Middle Caquetá River region, especially in Araracuara among indigenous communities of ethnic groups as Nonuya, Uitoto, Andoque, Yukuna, Matapí and Muinane. Such studies include, an analysis of several traditional practices related to the indigenous knowledge of “healing time", including the performance of rituals for the seasonal cycles and the shamanistic management of the seasonal supply of livelihoods including wildlife animals, fish and fruits; and a detailed study of the traditional cultivation system “chagra”, which hold more than 120 seeds, including plant varieties resistant to droughts and prolonged flooding.
All the activities developed studied the way local communities adapt to climate changes based on the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities on the use of biodiversity in order to reach to generate policy recommendations on policy frameworks and teachings for similar ecosystems under threat. One of the main results is the publication The Life of the Chagra: Traditional Knowledge and Practices Contributing to the Adaptation to Climate Change, a video Curando el tiempo produced by SPDA and an animation of the Calendario Annual Muina with the local climate indicators and the traditional tales related to them. TBI Colombia also organized the capacity building event Biological and Cultural Diversity: Keys for the Adaptation to Climate Change reuniting several initiatives in Colombia working in adaptation form a local perspective.
Today indigenous communities in the Middle River Caquetá are working in the promotion of the diversity of life seed banks since they have recognized how this makes them more resilient to climate variations. This makes communities stronger in the debate about the threats of climate change at a local level and helps them demonstrate the functionality of their traditional practices for the management of the natural resources in the framework of adaptation.
Foundations, NGOs and associations
Programme Director TBI Colombia