Géraud de Ville

The Open University, Department of Engineering and Innovation
London, UK

Documenting Sustainable Community Forestry

Field Report n°10

May 24, 2013

This is a field report by Pamela Dormienti, intern on Project COBRA based in Bina Hill, North Rupununi, Guyana

Photo Claudia Nuzzo – Creative Commons

Bina Hill, 20 May 2013 – Two months have already passed since I came to Bina Hill, Annai to work as an intern for Project COBRA. My work with the project will help to document community best practices within the forestry sector. I am focusing on the best practices for maintaining sustainable lifestyles and businesses in keeping with the Amerindian’s traditional way of life. Traditional values are central to maintain sustainable management practices on natural resources. The aim of my work is to give support to implement forest management according to the latest discoveries in the field. To do so I’m highlighting the assets and the weaknesses of the currently applied techniques of the sustainable forest management system in the North Rupununi area. My study will focus on two study sites within the Annai area. These are the Aranaputa Forestry Cooperative and the Makushi Yemekun Forestry Management Inc. better known as Makushi Yemekun Cooperative (MYC). I have been able to visit some villages to collect data for my study on the economic viability of using timber and non-timber forest products as a source of income.

In regards, to logging work, to date I had just one occasion to visit directly the concession in Aranaputa. The rainy season is starting so it is not easy to find people working in the field. They only do so when the weather is good and they have an order to fill and it seems that every time I schedule a visit, especially for the MYC concession, it rains. It is raining now as I wait to be transported to the concession. This week I will visit the villages of Aranaputa and Surama and MYC to collect more data in order to complete my field work.

My data is being collected using the system viability approach. This approach uses six orientors to determine if the system, in this case forestry operations, are viable and economically successful. Below I have listed the areas that will be explored using this method:

EXISTENCE: Basic requirements to survival; traditional practices on timber and non-timber activity and commerce, access to forestry resources and land titles.
RESISTANCE: Maintaining traditional practices. How could be maintained the sustainable forestry management according to the environmental and economic previsions for this area?
FLEXIBILITY: Rate of increase in spectrum of possible responses; developing new techniques for forestry management to face new economic and environmental challenges.
ADAPTABILITY: Education and training, flexibility, cultural norms; rate of adaptability to possible environmental and economic changes.
IDEAL PERFORMANCE: Rate of increase in resource efficiency; what the current forestry techniques are, and how they influence community forestry-based lifestyle; efficient use of forestry resources.
COEXISTENCE: The ability to survive and thrive amongst other competing and/or cooperating systems; benefitting from partnerships at regional and national levels; interaction with other communities and with international stakeholders.

The data collected will be presented as a case study and photostory. The photostory is the quickest way to share the information that I have collected with the communities and others. The data may also be used for work package 5 of the COBRA project.

This is my last month here in Annai and I hope to develop a work that will present a useful basis for future studies on analysis and research of forest management for the villages I am working with and create a sustainable prospective for the next generation or foresters.



QUICK DOWNLOAD: Check out the English version of the COBRA Handbook for Practitioners.