Resources

Where They Stand

Where They Stand details how Wapichan people in South America use modern technologies in the struggle to secure their land rights

The Wapichan people of Guyana are using modern technology and community research to seek legal recognition of their ancestral land in the face of aggressive land-grabbing, destructive logging, and poisonous mining by illegal miners and foreign companies, finds new report by internationally acclaimed science writer Fred Pearce.

Securing Forests, Securing rights: Report of the International Workshop on Deforestation and the Rights of Forest Peoples

The global forest crisis is worsening and infringements of the rights of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities are rising, according to a detailed assessment of nine country cases. Climate change mitigation and conservation policies must place community land rights and human rights centre-stage if they are to achieve the goal of sustainably reducing deforestation says the report.

Wapichan people in Guyana present territorial map and community proposals to save ancestral forests

Highlights:

  • Completion of a community digital map of traditional use and occupation of Wapichan wiizi (territory) by Wapichan mappers and a GIS specialist.
  • Community map is based on thousands of waypoints geo-referenced with satellite imagery.
  • The land use map has been finalised through multiple validation meetings in Wapichan communities as well as consultations with the Makushi and Wai Wai communities to the North and South of Wapichan territory.
  • Over 80 community consultations and workshops have been carried out to compile the innovative territorial plan titled Thinking Together for those Coming Behind Us.
  • The land use plan includes proposals to establish a Wapichan Conserved Forest and contains dozens of inter-community agreements on actions to secure land rights, promote sustainable use of resources and enable self-determined community development.
  • Participants at the Wapichan map and plan launch event in Georgetown, Guyana, praised the work as a potential model for other indigenous peoples in Guyana, and throughout the world.

El pueblo Wapichan en Guyana presenta un mapa territorial y propuestas comunitarias para salvar bosques ancestrales

Datos destacados:

·      Cartógrafos Wapichan y un experto en sistemas de información geográfica (SIG) terminan un mapa digital del uso y la ocupación tradicionales del territorio Wapichan (Wapichan wiizi) por parte de las comunidades que viven en él.

·      El mapa comunitario está basado en miles de puntos de referencia georeferenciados con imágenes transmitidas por satélite.

·      El mapa del uso de la tierra ha sido finalizado a través de múltiples encuentros de validación  llevados a cabo en las comunidades Wapichan, así como por consultas con las comunidades Makushi y Wai Wai al  norte y al sur del territorio Wapichan

·      Para elaborar el innovador plan territorial titulado Thinking Togther for those Coming Behind Us (Pensando juntos para las generaciones que vienen detrás de nosotros) se han realizado más de 80 consultas y talleres en las comunidades.

·      El plan de uso de la tierra incluye propuestas para establecer un bosque conservado por el pueblo Wapichan, y engloba docenas de pactos entre las comunidades sobre iniciativas para garantizar los derechos sobre la tierra, fomentar un uso sostenible de los recursos y hacer posible un desarrollo de la comunidad decidido por ellos mismos.

·      Los asistentes al acto de presentación del mapa y del plan del pueblo Wapichan, celebrado en Georgetown, Guyana, elogiaron la labor realizada como posible modelo ejemplar para otros pueblos indígenas del país y del mundo entero.