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Mistry J.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Berardi A.,Open University Milton Keynes | Tschirhart C.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Bignante E.,University of Turin | And 3 more authors.
Cultural Geographies | Year: 2015

In an era of increasing access to digital technologies, Indigenous communities are progressively more able to present sophisticated and differentiated narratives in order to maximise their long-term survival. In this article, we explore how Indigenous communities use participatory video and participatory photography as tools of Indigenous media to enhance, adapt and/or reinforce their collective social memory. This social memory is key for identity formation and self-representation, and the ways in which Indigenous representations are performed promote particular interests and worldviews to the local, national and global scales. Working with the Makushi and Wapishana communities of the North Rupununi, Guyana, the current social memory ‘in use’ was surfaced through the participatory video and photography process led by the Indigenous community. Through an iterative process of analysing images (photos and video clips) and text (written material, narration and spoken word), we identified key narratives of the communities’ social memory. We show how communities provide different messages to different actors through the way they use participatory video and participatory photography, revealing how self-conscious multiple identities shape differing purposes. We suggest that our ability, as non-Indigenous stakeholders, to perceive, appreciate and act upon these more complex and nuanced narratives is critical to help address environmental governance in a rapidly changing social–ecological context. © 2014, © The Author(s) 2014. Source

Mistry J.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Tschirhart C.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Verwer C.,IUCN National Committee of The Netherlands IUCN NL | Glastra R.,IUCN National Committee of The Netherlands IUCN NL | And 8 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2014

Scenarios help build a shared understanding of potential futures and allow us to engage with how interventions or activities may impact on people and the environment. There are many scenario sets that have been developed at the global and regional level, but to a lesser extent at the national and local levels. Yet fewer studies have explicitly linked imagined futures at different social-ecological scales. In this paper, we discuss how scenario analysis was used with indigenous communities and national level stakeholders in Guyana, South America, to explore context specific futures in relation to linked social-ecological systems. These futures were then analysed against published regional (Amazonian) and international scenarios using a qualitative coding approach and supported by quantitative factorial analysis. This allowed us to develop a matrix of multi-scalar scenarios, showing how scenarios at all scales interact. From this, we were able to identify virtuous and vicious cycles amongst the different scales where developments produced feedbacks to make situations worse, better or counteract change at other levels. Our results show that there is considerable mismatch between the different scales of analysis, with the national scale playing a key role as mediator. In addition, we highlight the importance of focusing on the root causes shaping futures as well as participatory forms of scenario development in order to provide better policy and decision support, and stimulate engagement at all levels of organisation in the process of change. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Ruslandi,University of Florida | Ruslandi,Gadjah Mada University | Roopsind A.,University of Florida | Roopsind A.,Iwokrama International Center | And 5 more authors.
International Forestry Review | Year: 2014

Tropical forest management and policy decisions are hampered by lack of reliable information about forest responses to timber harvesting and other silvicultural interventions. Although the necessary raw data from permanent sample plots (PSPs) mostly exist, the relevant results are generally unavailable due to lack of analytical capacities within data-holding institutions or lack of incentives to make the results available. Where analytical deficiency is the bottleneck, collaborative data-sharing agreements that go beyond the outsourcing of data-analysis to third parties can provide equitable and effective short- and long-term options. Simply outsourcing PSP data analysis to established scientists from extra-tropical countries might solve short-term problems, but does not prepare the community of scientists in tropical countries to address future research challenges. The design of such collaborative agreements that satisfy the needs and desires of the various parties involved is complicated by cultural and institutional differences, but progress on this front is evident. Source

Mitchard E.T.A.,University of Edinburgh | Feldpausch T.R.,University of Leeds | Feldpausch T.R.,University of Exeter | Brienen R.J.W.,University of Leeds | And 85 more authors.
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: The accurate mapping of forest carbon stocks is essential for understanding the global carbon cycle, for assessing emissions from deforestation, and for rational land-use planning. Remote sensing (RS) is currently the key tool for this purpose, but RS does not estimate vegetation biomass directly, and thus may miss significant spatial variations in forest structure. We test the stated accuracy of pantropical carbon maps using a large independent field dataset. Location: Tropical forests of the Amazon basin. The permanent archive of the field plot data can be accessed at: http://dx.doi.org/10.5521/FORESTPLOTS.NET/2014_1 Methods: Two recent pantropical RS maps of vegetation carbon are compared to a unique ground-plot dataset, involving tree measurements in 413 large inventory plots located in nine countries. The RS maps were compared directly to field plots, and kriging of the field data was used to allow area-based comparisons. Results: The two RS carbon maps fail to capture the main gradient in Amazon forest carbon detected using 413 ground plots, from the densely wooded tall forests of the north-east, to the light-wooded, shorter forests of the south-west. The differences between plots and RS maps far exceed the uncertainties given in these studies, with whole regions over- or under-estimated by >25%, whereas regional uncertainties for the maps were reported to be <5%. Main conclusions: Pantropical biomass maps are widely used by governments and by projects aiming to reduce deforestation using carbon offsets, but may have significant regional biases. Carbon-mapping techniques must be revised to account for the known ecological variation in tree wood density and allometry to create maps suitable for carbon accounting. The use of single relationships between tree canopy height and above-ground biomass inevitably yields large, spatially correlated errors. This presents a significant challenge to both the forest conservation and remote sensing communities, because neither wood density nor species assemblages can be reliably mapped from space. © 2014 The Authors. Global Ecology and Biogeography published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.. Source

Tschirhart C.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Mistry J.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Berardi A.,Open University Milton Keynes | Bignante E.,University of Turin | And 5 more authors.
Ecology and Society | Year: 2016

There is increasing advocacy for inclusive community-based approaches to environmental management, and growing evidence that involving communities improves the sustainability of social-ecological systems. Most community-based approaches rely on partnerships and knowledge exchange between communities, civil society organizations, and professionals such as practitioners and/or scientists. However, few models have actively integrated more horizontal knowledge exchange from community to community. We reflect on the transferability of community owned solutions between indigenous communities by exploring challenges and achievements of community peer-to-peer knowledge exchange as a way of empowering communities to face up to local environmental and social challenges. Using participatory visual methods, indigenous communities of the North Rupununi (Guyana) identified and documented their community owned solutions through films and photostories. Indigenous researchers from this community then shared their solutions with six other communities that faced similar challenges within Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Colombia, French Guiana, and Brazil. They were supported by in-country civil society organizations and academics. We analyzed the impact of the knowledge exchange through interviews, field reports, and observations. Our results show that indigenous community members were significantly more receptive to solutions emerging from, and communicated by, other indigenous peoples, and that this approach was a significant motivating force for galvanizing communities to make changes in their community. We identified a range of enabling factors, such as building capacity for a shared conceptual and technical understanding, that strengthens the exchange between communities and contributes to a lasting impact. With national and international policy-makers mobilizing significant financial resources for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, we argue that the promotion of community owned solutions through community peer-to-peer exchange may deliver more long-lasting, socially and ecologically integrated, and investment-effective strategies compared to top-down, expert led, and/or foreign-led initiatives. © 2016 by the author(s). Source

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