Innovative project gives South American communities a voice in protecting their own environments

Aug 09, 2013

Today, as the world marks the United Nations' International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, a project at Royal Holloway University is highlighting the crucial contribution local people in South America can make in helping to protect the natural environment.

Project COBRA is enabling people in Guyana to track and document the effect that global environmental polices have on their own and lives, through video and photographs. Led by Jay Mistry from the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, the project also allows local people to identify and capture the most effective methods they have for managing natural resources, such as selecting the right land for agriculture, and enables them to share their findings with other communities.

The results are then analysed together with the team at Royal Holloway, as well as with colleagues in Europe, in order to develop clear models based on the communities' own methods for sustaining their environment.

"Our project provides of the invaluable role indigenous people can play in protecting . Indeed, national governments and policy makers should take this point on board when considering the dramatic changes they want to make to local peoples' land rights," said Céline Tschirhart, post-doctorate researcher for the project. "The use of visual methods introduced through Project COBRA has enabled local communities to become advocates for their own way of life and get their voice heard. For example, in March, COBRA team members from Guyana submitted a video to the United Nations on the importance of forests to ."

The next phase of the project, due to start in September, will see the communities involved with COBRA, presenting and disseminating their best practices with other in the Guiana Shield region of South America. Sydney Allicock, representative for the communities of the North Rupununi, Guyana said: "This is crucial in giving our people the skills, capacity and confidence needed to engage with national and international governments and ensure we have a say on our own future."

Explore further: Spotlight on sustainable highland aquatic resources

More information: www.projectcobra.org/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New research discovers the emergence of Twitter 'tribes'

Mar 14, 2013

A project led by scientists from Royal Holloway University in collaboration with Princeton University, has found evidence of how people form into tribe-like communities on social network sites such as Twitter.

Spotlight on sustainable highland aquatic resources

Jul 03, 2013

Ensuring sustainable water and secure food resources will help protect the planet as it faces climate change, provide economic benefits for poor communities, and produce more food per unit of agricultural ...

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.