Deirdre Jafferally


Farewell to the North Rupununi

Field Report n°11: Back to Italy

June 13, 2013

Pamela Dormienti says goodbye to the North Rupununi as her three months internship comes to an end. Pamela came to work with the COBRA Team on Work Package 4 looking at timber practices in the community forestry concessions.

Project COBRA – Creative Commons

Three months have flown by since I arrived in the North Rupununi. My research on timber and non-timber forest products was not as simple as I thought it was going to be. Problems with bureaucracy and organizing with the people to conduct interviews did not go as planned and made my job that much harder. Even the weather seemed to be against me and with the arrival of the rainy season, making my visits to the forest concessions difficult. I walked through the bush, roads filled with mud; in the forest surrounded by insects and I dodged branches that fell from the trees after the passage of monkeys over my head, but it was worth it. I had the opportunity to be immersed in the beautiful and magical atmosphere of the rainforest. It was a great experience!

Talking with the concession workers allowed me a look into the life they lead while engaging in this kind of activity. I really enjoyed going into the villages to interview village members. The warmth and hospitality the people showed me was unmatched. The long talks with the villagers I interviewed for my research allowed me to understand a lot about the traditions and customary uses of forest products and how these goods are an essential part of the everyday life of these people. The close connection between people and nature and the awareness of the heritage they own, allow them to develop grassroots movements that can form the basis to maintain control and preserve this priceless legacy.

Still much work needs to be done; the need for a strong organization that can keep the decision-making and management in the hands of the population is a necessary step, but it must be carried out through the creation of a stable and professional staff base. Financial support is really important to carry on monitoring and management activity, but is also necessary to create a strong sustainable market, to support knowledge and research at the national and local level.

Guyanese people are amazing and there is will to grow in accordance with the traditions and the natural environment and I have great expectations for this country for the future.

The time in the North Rupununi has past really fast, I will keep the memories of the wonderful people and landscapes always in my heart with the hope to, one day, be able to come back again.

Special thanks go to all those who have worked with me in this three months, the crew of COBRA; Lakeram, Ryan, Grace and Rebecca, all of the staff and those who have orbited at Bina Hill, Samantha and Deirdre from Iwokrama for all the help, the support and all the nice chats done together. I want to thanks also the guys of the C-MRV, students and teachers of Bina Hill Institute, the team of NRDDB, Virgil and his wonderful radio that keeps company here and inform all those who live in the North Rupununi. There are so many people I would like to thank and little space to do it…. thanks to all of you for treating me like a Guyanese and made me feel at home, for helping me in every way was possible. This was my first research experience in the field and now that it is finished I really understand how much I have changed and grown, both as a researcher and as a woman. Thanks everybody!





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