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For an isolated community in Brazil, knowledge is power

The Kalunga community is using mapping data to defend their land and traditional way of life.

translated from text published by Marsea Nelson, Senior Communications Manager, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund 

 

Several hundred years ago, in Brazil, fugitive slave groups established communities & #8211; known as quilombos. Many of these communities were destroyed, but in a remote mountainous region of Goiás, some 8,000 of their descendants & #8211; the people Kalunga & #8211; it continues a traditional lifestyle largely isolated from the modern world.

Today, however, this modern world is forming for this community. The Kalungas found themselves fighting for both their culture and their ancestral land, which lies within the impressive region of Veadeiros Plateau (Goiás, Brazil), which is part of hot spot in Cerrado biodiversity.

The Kalunga are mainly Catholic. However, some converted to neo-Pentecostalism, which brought some differences with community members who continue to hold traditional beliefs.

Community children learn about local biodiversity. Photo: © Quilombo Kalunga Association Collection

In addition, younger Kalungas leave the territory to study or work. “When they return, they bring musical influences, outside dancing and new habits,” said Vilmar Souza Costa, president of the Quilombo Kalunga Association (AQK). “They also bring a new vision of how to relate to the land, wanting to apply new technologies to cultivate it and fight pests, which are more appropriate for agribusiness.”

At threats to Kalunga lands they include imminent plans for the construction of a small hydroelectric plant and consistent pressure from mining companies, as well as an increase in land used for agriculture.

Pasture areas have grown over the years and open areas are already taking over the territory, Costa said. He also noted that populations of many species of local biodiversity & #8211; including tapirs, armadillos, rheas and fish & #8211; decreased.

The project field team. Photo: © Quilombo Kalunga Association Collection

Recognizing these challenges, the community established the Quilombo Kalunga Association in 1999 to represent and defend their interests.

In 2013, the idea of using the geoprocessing to better understand families living in the region and territory, documenting precisely what Kalunga lands housed, where they were most vulnerable and where there were the best opportunities to implement tourism.

Finding funding for the project, however, proved challenging. Government funds failed and efforts to find another donor did not materialize until five years later, when CEPF granted the Association its first Donation of US$ 216,600.00.

& #8220; In the Cerrado, working with traditional peoples and communities is an important part of our strategy & #8221; said Peggy Poncelet, CEPF grant director. #8220; Not every donor is equipped to provide the kind of technical support that a developing organization such as AQK requires, but CEPF is.

Kalunga Territory. Photo: ©P. Poncelet / CEPF Collection

With funding finally in place, a specialist was hired by AQK to train 24 young Kalungas in GIS and Open Data Kit, which is a data collection toolkit that does not require an internet connection. They then began to systematically gather socioeconomic information about local residents of the Kalunga Historical Site and Cultural Heritage.

The work was not easy & #8211; The team faced heavy rains and bad roads. Sometimes they would go to hard to reach places, only to find that the family was not at home. This fieldwork was a complicated process, but, according to Costa, the young people took on with “enthusiasm and joy”.

The information collected in the survey is being useful on many fronts. The state sanitation company will use the data to improve water supply and sanitation in the community. Information about which families have dogs and chickens will be used by the Department of Health to help fight Chagas disease, which can cause serious health complications. Meanwhile, a federal organization is using data on land cultivation and animal husbandry to provide farmers with more efficient technical assistance.

Vilmar Costa, president of AQK, spoke to the community about the 19 endangered species occurring in the Kalunga Territory. Photo: © Quilombo Kalunga Association Collection

Awareness raising is another essential component of the CEPF funded project. Presentations about 19 endangered species found in the region were widely reported in local schools and municipalities. & #8220; Participating students and teachers posted photos and comments on their social networks, which eventually led to large-scale knowledge of the 19 species of Chapada dos Veadeiros & #8221 ;, said Costa. AQK also made presentations during community meetings and distributed calendars and banners describing local biodiversity and how to protect it.

AQK is now working on creating a online platform which will allow each family to update their own information.

The project was also reported locally by the The Brazilian Report and Eyeing The Ruralists. Recently, the portal G1 Nature has published a series of articles and videos about the Kalunga community.

Read the original text of this article, which is available in English at site CEPF.

About Quilombo Kalunga Association and CEPF Cerrado

The Quilombo Kalunga Association is a non-profit, non-profit civil organization founded in October 1999. It is formed by the Kalunga Associations of Cavalcante, Monte Alegre, Teresina and Engenho II, as well as Epotecampo. She represents the largest quilombo territory in Brazil, with 262 thousand hectares of land. The Association promotes the defense of interest of all communities formed by residents of the Kalunga Historical and Cultural Heritage Site (SHPCK), scattered between the municipalities of Cavalcante, Monte Alegre de Goiás and Teresina de Goiás, and represent them in all instances. legal and administrative

The project “Use of Geoprocessing in the Management of the Kalunga Historical and Cultural Heritage Site - SHPCK”, fostered by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF, from the acronym in English to Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fundand with support from Brazilian International Institute of Education (IEB)The project aims to know in depth the reality of Kalunga communities, use geoprocessing technology to map the territory in detail, promote SHPCK occupation in a more sustainable way and make Kalunga internationally recognized as advocates of biodiversity conservation. .


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

 

Approved in Goiás the first internal regulation of a quilombo in Brazil

Quilombo Kalunga Association Initiative to Model Other Quilombola Communities

by Quilombo Kalunga Association

THE Quilombo Kalunga Association (AQK) completed in May the elaboration of the bylaws, a pioneer project at the national level. O rules of procedure for the environmental and territorial management of the Kalunga Historical Site and Cultural Heritage (SHPCK), for the recognition of Kalunga ancestry and ancestry, and for the exploitation of tourism in the territory. SHPCK is considered the largest quilombo territory in Brazil, with 261,999.69 hectares, and is located in the Chapada dos Veadeiros region, in Goiás.

Vilmar de Souza Costa opens the Assembly of Representatives of the Kalunga Communities to draw up the Rules of Procedure of the Quilombo Kalunga Association. Photo: Maria Lúcia Godinho / AQK Collection.

From March 18 to May 12, 14 assemblies were held, involving all 39 Kalunga communities and attended by over 1,000 people. In these meetings were discussed the most important points that, according to those present, should be contained in the bylaws, were voted by them and approved the contents. In these assemblies the creation of a AQK Representative Council, a collegiate made up of three representatives from each local community, who became part of the board of the Quilombo Kalunga Association.

From May 23rd to 26th, the Assembly of Representatives elected at the community meetings was held at the Kalunga Cavalcante Association. These were moments of intense debate of each article and paragraph, and finally approved.

According Vilmar Souza Costa, president of the Quilombo Kalunga Association, the bylaws are of essential importance to regulate the relations existing within the territory, always respecting the customs, knowledge and traditions of the Kalunga people. “The creation of our regiment is yet another demonstration of the Kalunga people's ability to organize, defend and manage their territory. We collectively and participatively build our own standards, which will be followed by all our people, ”says Costa.

Maria Aparecida Mato, Executive Director of CONAQ - National Coordination of Quilombola Rural Black Communities in Brazil - participated in one of the 14 assemblies and praised the importance of the norms and culture of a quilombola people being put on paper as a written and concrete proof of all that is established. “This is the first quilombo in Brazil to create an internal regiment.. It is an example and a model that will be followed by several other quilombola communities in Brazil, ”he reveals.

Geoprocessing and preservation in assemblies

Another theme of the assemblies was the project “Use of Geoprocessing in the Management of the Historical and Cultural Heritage Site Kalunga & #8211; SHPCK ”, fostered by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF, from the acronym in English to Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) and with support from Brazilian International Institute of Education (IEB)The project aims to know in depth the reality of Kalunga communities, use geoprocessing technology to map the territory in detail, promote SHPCK occupation in a more sustainable way and make Kalunga internationally recognized as advocates of biodiversity conservation. .

Representing CEPF / IEB, Michael Jackson speaks on the importance of organizing the Kalunga people to carry out environmental and territorial management. Photo: Maria Lúcia Godinho / AQK Collection.

Since January the survey has been carried out and the socioeconomic register SHPCK residents, with the goal of participation of all 1,500 quilombola families. After the survey, the field surveys will be associated with the cartographic base and the thematic mapping performed through geoprocessing and remote sensing. There will also be a cadastral survey of mining activities, illegal logging and predatory fishing, and tourist attractions.

The assemblies also focused on the mobilization of quilombola families on the importance of biodiversity conservation all over the territory. For this, they were made 4,000 calendars, which were delivered to Kalunga houses, as well as people and strategic locations in the municipalities of Alto Paraíso, Cavalcante, Campos Belos, Monte Alegre de Goiás and Teresina de Goiás. Banners were also made, set in all municipal, state and private schools. in the five municipalities.

According to the previous survey made by the Association, there are 19 locally threatened species found in the region. Conservation target species were prioritized according to the degree of threat criterion, focused on species facing extremely high risk of extinction in nature, requiring urgent conservation actions.

About Quilombo Kalunga Association

The Quilombo Kalunga Association is a non-profit, non-profit civil organization founded in October 1999. It is formed by the Kalunga Associations of Cavalcante, Monte Alegre, Teresina and Engenho II, as well as Epotecampo. She represents the largest quilombo territory in Brazil, with 262 thousand hectares of land. The Association promotes the defense of interest of all communities formed by residents of the Kalunga Historical and Cultural Heritage Site (SHPCK), scattered between the municipalities of Cavalcante, Monte Alegre de Goiás and Teresina de Goiás, and represent them in all instances. legal and administrative

More information:

Phone: (62) 3494-1062

Email: aqkalunga@gmail.com

Facebook gives Aqk.


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

 

 

Project Team & #8220; Avoiding the Merganser Extinction & #8221; records species in the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, Goiás

by Gislaine Disconzi, Instituto Amada Terra

Rio Preto, Goiás. Photo: IAT Collection

The project Avoiding the Merganser Extinction in the Veadeiros Corridor & #8211; High Landing & #8211; Kalunga, which is performed by Amada Terra Institute, and has the support of Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fundand Brazilian International Institute of Education (IEB), made a field expedition this April in the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, Goiás, where he spotted EIGHT INDIVIDUALS of the species (Mergos octosetaceus).

The project has carried out a series of river embarkations, seeking to improve information on the presence of Merganser in the region. The species is considered one of the most threatened Americas and was declared the Ambassador of Brazilian Continental Waters. On April 2 and 3, a team of five people, three canoeing professionals, the project's technical field coordinator and the public use coordinator of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, traveled approximately 40 km from the Rio Preto looking for individuals of the species. This is the first of several actions to be undertaken within a protection strategy within the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, located in the state of Goiás.

Team on expedition to Rio Preto. Photo: IAT Collection

Team on the field: Wellinton from France Lima; Carlos Alexandre Xavier; Guilherme Predebon (Embedded Field Consultant); Fernando H. Previdente (Field Coordinator) and André Ribeiro (PNCV Public Use Coordinator).

See more news about the expedition at site ICMBio in the Planet connection and in social networks!

Watch the video which records the presence of the Brazilian Merganser during the team's expedition to Rio Preto!


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

 

 

Avoiding the Merganser Extinction in Chapada dos Veadeiros, Goiás, Brazil

The project “Avoiding the extinction of the Brazilian Merganser in the Veadeiros-Pouso Alto-Kalunga corridor” Its activities started in January 2018, in the city of Alto Paraíso de Goiás, located in the Chapada dos Veadeiros region. The project aims to carry out monitoring and research activities of the Merganser, public awareness actions and training on the current conservation status of the species. The project lasts for two years and is funded by the & #8220; Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund ”- (CEPF)with the support of International Institute of Education of Brazil (IIEB). The project is executed by Amada Land Institute of Social Inclusion (IAT)Its basic team is composed by the General Coordinator: Gislaine Disconzi, Field Coordinator: Fernando Previdente, Educommunication Coordinator: Maria Beatriz Maury and Financial Coordinator: Paulo Henrique Golçalves.

Why take care of the Merganser?

With a small population and living in a restricted environment, the Merganser is a rare bird that is critically endangered. Its occurrence is currently only in Brazil. It has already disappeared in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Paraná and Santa Catarina and also in Argentina and Paraguay. Its presence indicates a good state of conservation of the environment, being a species restricted to environments of rapids, waterfalls and backwaters of clean and crystalline waters.

Some results of the project and its partnerships

Brazilian Merganser Launched as Brazil's Water Ambassador

On March 20th of this year, in the World Water Forum, in Brasilia, the Merganser received from the Ministry of the Environment the title of Ambassador of Brazilian Waters.

AMADA TERRA INSTITUTE TEAM WAS AT THE 8TH WORLD WATER FORUM: Gislaine Disconzi, Project Coordinator, Maria Beatriz Maury, Educommunication Coordinator, along with Ricardo Soavinsky, ICMBIO President, Rita Surrage de Medeiros, Pato Mergulhão PAN Coordinator CEMAVE, Prof. Sávio Bruno Freire, from UFF, Luís Fábio da Silveira, from USP, Paulo Zuquim Antas, from Funatura, Reinaldo Lourival, Nature and International Culture, Fabiane Sebaio, from Cervivo and Sônia Rigueira from Instituto Terra Brasilis. Celebrating the well deserved choice of the Brazilian Merganser for the title of Brazilian Water Ambassador. Photo: © IAT

Sighting of individuals on field expeditions

Since the beginning of the project, trainings, river embarkations and expeditions of reconnaissance of areas of the species registration have been carried out, aiming to locate individuals for future marking, ringing and placement of radios and GPS. In two of these expeditions, a couple and an individual have already been sighted. In Chapada dos Veadeiros, it is estimated that there are about 50 to 60 individuals, which makes these sightings a spectacular result, in a short period of time.

Individual located on the project expedition Avoiding the extinction of the Merganser in Chapada dos Veadeiros. Photo: © IAT

Chapada Television Show

In June, TV Record aired a documentary series about Chapada dos Veadeiros, dedicating an episode to the Merganser. To this end, he accompanied the Project team on one of their expeditions. This is a very positive result, which helps in the conservation of the species.

Record Series

https://noticias.r7.com/jornal-da-record/videos/pesquisadores-tentam-preservar-especies-da-chapada-dos-veadeiros-07062018

To know more

Project Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pato.mergulhao.7

Project Photos

https://www.facebook.com/pato.mergulhao.7/photos?lst=100002529835047%3A100026683758830%3A1530830913&source_ref=pb_friends_tl

 

* Text provided by Maria Beatriz Maury, Coordinator of Educommunication, Instituto Amada Terra