Indigenous fire management and protected areas in Guyana

Recent studies show that Indigenous peoples manage or have tenure rights over a quarter of the world’s land surface, which intersects with over 40% of all terrestrial protected areas and ecologically intact landscapes. Understanding Indigenous land management practices, such as fire, therefore, are becoming increasing important in a context of changing climate, loss of traditional knowledge, and calls for extending protected areas across the globe. This project investigates changing fire management practices of the Indigenous people living in and around the Kanuku Mountains Protected Area in southern Guyana. In particular, it looks at the fire calendar; the different months and seasons of fire, and how these relate to current cultural practices and the impacts of the fires on biodiversity. The project involves a mixture of data collection techniques including participatory methods, interviews and ecological surveys.