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Sydney Allicock to speak at the Sustainable EcoTourism Conference in Monterey, California

SYDNEY ALLICOCK, NORTH RUPUNUNI, GUYANA: UTILIZING TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND SCIENCE FOR CLIMATE ADAPTATION

Sydney Allicock, an Amerindian community leader from North Rupununi, believes it is important for science and traditional indigenous knowledge to work together on solutions to problems, including those caused by growing population pressure on forests and savannahs lands.

Allicock emphasized that local communities have traditionally used their environmental knowledge to live in a sustainable way.

“The Amerindians have lived off the forest and savannah lands for many, many moons, and to do that they have to try as much as possible to understand the laws of nature. We know exactly what time there will be spawning of fishes, when it is going to be high season, when the trees are bearing fruit. That knowledge allows the community to manage and monitor and just take enough for our survival.” – Sydney Allicock

He believes that indigenous peoples have a wealth of information that could be shared with scientists. He remembers a team of researchers who in 1994 spent three weeks in the Iwokrama forest searching unsuccessfully for a certain species of frog. After the scientists consulted with local Amerindians they were able to find the frog in two days. “They could have easily come together with us (sooner) and things would have been better for them,” Allicock noted.

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