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Story Publication logo July 7, 2023

Seeds for Tomorrow: Local Management Plan Supports Indigenous Communities in Sustainable Natural Resource Management (Portuguese)

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Indigenous communities embrace their ancestry in building solutions to guarantee the future of the...

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An English summary of this report is below. The original report, published in Portuguese in Folha de S.Paulo, follows.

Um só Planeta goes to the heart of Roraima to learn about a Plan for Territorial and Environmental Management -- an instrument elaborated collectively and that takes into consideration the demands and potentials of each community.


Tuxaua Maria no manival
Tuxaua Maria in the manival. Image by Amanda Magnani. Brazil, 2023.

"I think this one here, a single stem, yielded two liters of flour," says Maria Izabel Jorge, of the Wapichana people, traditional leader of the Novo Paraíso community, while holding a yuca root that she has just pulled out of the ground. The singsong tone of her speech reveals that Portuguese is not her mother tongue.

In the manival, as the cassava field is called, there is almost no way to hide from the scorching midday sun. With temperatures of over 30ºC, it is hard to believe that it is winter.

Contrary to what the completely blue sky seems to indicate, it is the rainy season. For the community of Novo Paraíso, this means planting time. Especially the cassava to make flour, the main product of the community and the flagship of its PGTA, the Plan for Territorial and Environmental Management. Flour should guarantee the conditions for the execution of other plans -- planting coconut, mango and medicinal herbs, as well as sustainable fish and cattle breeding.

Massa da farinha depois de sair da prensa, para ser peneirada e torrada — Foto: Amanda Magnani
Flour mass after leaving the press, to be sifted and toasted. Image by Amanda Magnani. Brazil, 2023.

The PGTAs emerged as an initiative of the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR) in the early 2000s, initially focused on monitoring and participatory ethnomapping of communities that were fighting for the guarantee of their territories.

Since 2008, with the emblematic demarcations of the Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Territory (IT), its focus has been to elaborate strategies to manage these territories through the sustainable management of the natural resources of each community. Each PGTA, which is collectively elaborated, documented, and recognized at an assembly, takes into consideration both the demands and the potentials of the community.

Diagrama do PGTA da comunidade. A casinha vermelha é a casa de farinha. O esquema mostra a roça em frente à casa, onde serão plantados coqueiros e mangueiras — Foto: Amanda Magnani
Diagram of the community's PGTA. The red house is the flour house. The diagram shows the field in front of the house, where coconut and mango trees will be planted. Image by Amanda Magnani. Brazil, 2023.
Tuxaua Maria Loreta Pascoal, da comunidade Novo Paraíso, do povo Wapichana, em Roraima — Foto: Amanda Magnani
Tuxaua Maria Loreta Pascoal, from the Novo Paraíso community, of the Wapichana people, in Roraima. Image by Amanda Magnani. Brazil, 2023.
Izabel, mãe da tuxaua da comunidade, com as mandiocas recém-colhidas da sua roça — Foto: Amanda Magnani
Izabel, mother of the community's tuxaua, with the freshly harvested manioc from her field. Image by Amanda Magnani. Brazil, 2023.
Farinha sendo torrada no forno tradicional — Foto: Amanda Magnani
Flour being toasted in the traditional oven. Image by Amanda Magnani. Brazil, 2023.
Mandioca sendo “raspada” (descascada) para ser colocada de molho para fazer a puba — Foto: Amanda Magnani
Manioc being "scraped" (peeled) to be soaked for making puba. Image by Amanda Magnani. Brazil, 2023.

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