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Sabedores-Sabedoras: indigenous methods of recuperation, preservation and management of Forest Varzea, Amazonas – Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador

Simpson, Ann and Corredor de, Blanca and Gray, Alexander and Corredor, Andres (2010) Sabedores-Sabedoras: indigenous methods of recuperation, preservation and management of Forest Varzea, Amazonas – Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador. International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, 6 (6). pp. 129-166. ISSN 1832-2077

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Abstract

The sabedores (wise people) of the Amazon forest possess the knowledge to sustainably manage their environment which they have preserved and survived in for thousands of years. This paper is an overview of our project Sabedores- sabedoras which looks at the importance of researching and giving credit to indigenous methods of recuperation, preservation and management of the forest and varzea, Amazonas – Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador. The information presented is based on more than twenty years of field research with the sabedores from the Amazon forest in addition to two interdisciplinary projects (DEFRA-Darwin Initiative 9008 and 12016). The project researchers have worked directly with sabedores from a range of ethnic groups including Uitoto, Muinane, Andoke, Yukuna, Tikuna, Cocama, Quichua, Tukano, Yagua. A methodology of participative observation together with the running of interdisciplinary, intercultural workshops in Leticia and in Indigenous Communities, Amazonas, Colombia was used. The importance of maintaining and reviving indigenous knowledge and identity, together with giving credibility to the management techniques, was highlighted as a way forward for the indigenous communities and the environment, in particular the tropical forest, Amazonas.