29.01.2010 -

Mayangna knowledge of the co-existence of People and Nature: Fish and Turtles

"We are an indigenous group living along the banks of the small rivers that constitute the headwaters of the Prinzapolka, Coco and Wawa rivers. We are a humble people yet, at the same time, very proud. … Our culture is very different from that of other indigenous groups and that of the mestizos. We conserve nature and continue to live surrounded by living beings, both plants and animals."


Mayangna leaders and representatives

The book was launched on Friday 29 January 2010, within the framework of the International Conference on Biodiversity Science Policy and the International Year of Biodiversity. 


For the Mayangna and UNESCO, the book has two goals:

- It contributes to the transmission of indigenous knowledge of the natural world to subsequent generations of Mayangna.

- It demonstrates to the scientific community, and the general public, the unique nature of local knowledge and the key role that the Mayangna play in sustainable resource use and biodiversity management of the BOSAWAS Biosphere Reserve.

The Way Forward:

Publication of these two volumes on Mayangna Knowledge of the Co-existence of People and Nature marks the culmination of a long and intensive phase of work. It is also the beginning of new and equally challenging endeavors. Acknowledging the knowledge and experience of indigenous peoples, in this case the Mayangna, has important implications for both education and conservation.

The book creates new opportunities for safeguarding and reinforcing the transmission of indigenous knowledge in both communities and classrooms. It also provides a foundation for enhancing biodiversity management by bringing indigenous knowledge on board alongside science, and by reinforcing recognition of indigenous peoples as resource managers in their own right. The book provides a springboard for addressing these important additional challenges.

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