Strengthen the environmental governance and territorial management in the resguards of the Colombian Amazon
Indigenous peoples have been guardians of the Amazon for thousands of years and possess a vast knowledge base of this complex ecological system. Their traditional knowledge, based on observing and experimenting with nature, provides communities with the tools necessary to monitor local biodiversity and to predict or adapt to climate change and protect certain species or sacred natural sites (often salt licks or breeding grounds) through restrictions on biodiversity use, harvesting or hunting.
Community research is often the first step for reviving or transferring this traditional knowledge – and provides the basis for inter-cultural health programs, indigenous community school curriculums, food sovereignty, and local indigenous governance of the Northwest Amazon.
Gaia Amazonas supports indigenous leaders and community groups to research into the history, geography, and worldview of their ethnic group. We teach the skills for ecological mapping, and for ecological calendars to capture the annual cycles, plant and animal diversity, cultural rituals and seasonal tasks. Community research also leads to the revival of traditional spaces for the transition of knowledge from one generation to another. Environmental management plans are another product from community research and mapping.
400 indigenous researchers are studying traditional medicinal plants, nutrition and food variety, environmental management, and best cultural practices.