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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Development of sustainable agroforestry systems based on indigenous and maroon knowledge in the Guyana shield region


In the rainforests of Suriname, Brazil and Venezuela, Indigenous and Maroon communities are facing increased outside pressures on their communal lands. These communities harbour hundreds of years of experience in managing agricultural production in the com plex rainforest ecosystem and exploiting its resources of Timber and Non Timber Forest Products (NTFP's) in an extensive way. Unfortunately, their capacities as managers of the forest resource base have yet insufficiently been exploited for the benefit of the national economy. Since over-exploitation would endanger their livelihood, exploitation of the forest resource base for agriculture, timber, medicinal plants, fruits, etc. has been an integral part of their livelihood strategies aimed at long-term surv ival rather than short-term profit. Careful exploitation of traditional knowledge on the multiple uses of NTFP's (e.g. fruits, medicinal plants) could open up new sources of income generating activities that could be of profit to both the micro economy of Indigenous and Maroon communities as well as to national economy through increased market interaction. This proposal aims to develop new strategies for the production of environmentally safe and economically viable cash crops, timber and non-timber forest products based on Indigenous and Maroon livelihood strategies. Emphasis will be put on understanding Indigenous and Maroon traditional practices and finding ways to incorporate their knowledge of the rainforest ecosystem into sustainable agro-forestry syst ems: integration of Indigenous and Maroon knowledge with formal science rather than replacement of one by the other. Organisational capacities of the communities involved and institutional capacities of local institutions will be promoted through the formu lation and implementation of specific support actions.'

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Costerweg 50

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Participants (9)