Guyanese tribe maps Connecticut-sized rainforest for land rights

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Vue aérienne de la forêt guyanienne © JODY AMIET / AFP FILES / AFP

In a bid to gain legal recognition of their land, the indigenous Wapichan people have digitally mapped their customary rainforest land in Guyana over the past ten years. Covering 1.4 million hectares, about the size of Connecticut, the rainforest would be split between sustainable-use regions, sacred areas, and wildlife conservation according to a plan by the Wapichan tribe that will be released today. The plan says the tribe would preserve the forest from extractive industries.

“Recognition of our rights to control and manage our traditional territory would be one of the best ways of helping Guyana to fulfill its commitments to tackle climate change and meet its obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity, which aims to conserve and sustainably use biological resources,” said Anglelbert Johnny, community leader of Sawari Wa’o Amerindian Village, one of twenty villages in the territory.


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