Introducing: Maps, Magic, and Medicine

Maps, Magic, and Medicine explores the importance of indigenous knowledge to protect the environment. Each month we bring you stories about the spiritual, the unexplained, and the unbelievable.

To create innovative strategies that address global climate change, poverty, and land rights, we must understand the interconnectedness of humans and the environment. These stories are the first way to reimagine our relationship to the natural world.

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Water, Wildlife and Hope: Rejuvenating a Kogi Sacred Site

Published on July 21, 2016.

After years of planning, designing, acquiring materials, developing infrastructure, laying and burying 1,200 meters of pipe, and testing water quality and functionality, the seemingly impossible was achieved: for Colombia’s Kogi people, and their related tribes who rely on Jaba Tañiwashkaka, a historically sacred site, an aqueduct that provides access to water for crop irrigation and potable water for consumption is now in place. And thanks to a determined site restoration effort, alligators, nutria, and capybara are only a few of the animals now seen in a wetland previously largely devoid of wildlife.

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ACT Field Notes

By: ACT-Suriname
Date: Friday, June 24, 2016

In May 2016, Roché Bhola, one of ACT-Suriname's field station managers, traveled for several weeks to the Trio indigenous village of Sipaliwini together with Dr, Anthony Druiventak, geology professor at Anton de Kom University of Suriname and Joanne Perk, a student from the department of mine

By: Rudo Kemper
Date: Thursday, June 23, 2016
In 2015, the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) began conducting participatory mapping fieldwork with the Matawai Maroons residing in ten villages along the upper Saramacca River of central Suriname. The process has been deeply enriching to all parties, with remarkable products.
By: Minu Parahoe
Date: Monday, April 25, 2016

The 2016 fieldwork for ACT’s joint project with the University of Utrecht and Surinamese universities is right around the corner. Since 2015, in southern Suriname, ACT has been conducting research in the Trio indigenous village of Kwamalasamutu, focusing on topics defined by the community.

ACT in the Press

By: James Perla
Publication: Living Planet (August 2016)

Despite conservation efforts, swathes of Brazil's Amazon forest are still lost to deforestation. Small-scale illegal logging can be difficult to monitor, even with satellite-imaging technology. Now, one indigenous tribe is looking to GPS mapping on smartphones to protect their forest.

By: Milton López Tarabochia
Publication: Mongabay (July 2016)
Es un hecho que existen y son miles, no se les ve porque viven en los lugares más recónditos de la Amazonía. Se trata de los pueblos indígenas en aislamiento voluntario y contacto inicial (PIACI), una población numerosa que por haber permanecido durante mucho tiempo fuera del contacto con la cultura occidental, trae consigo una serie de desafíos porque su avistamiento es cada vez más común.
By: Juan Carlos Piedrahíta B.
Publication: El Espectador (June 2016)
“3 mil RÍOS: Voces en la Selva”, una creación del compositor Víctor Gama inspirada en el texto “Cariba Malo” de Roberto Franco, es una ópera multimedia cantada a través de las historias de personas que habitan los bosques tropicales de la Amazonia colombiana y brasileña, la costa Pacífica y las montañas de los Andes.