• 8:57 Now Playing

    Burning the Bananal

    Wildfires are increasing in their frequency and ferocity worldwide – they consume forests and destroy lives. Is there a more effective way to fight them?

    Fighting fire with fire

    Traditional fire management practices hold many answers. Controlled fires, which were widely banned by colonialist authorities, had long been used by indigenous peoples to maintain their land and forests and to protect their peoples from large-scale wildfires.

    In recent years, the Brazilian Environment Ministry has been working in partnership with indigenous communities. They have been learning from elders about fire management, employing indigenous firefighters and investing in the application of these practices on a vast scale. This approach has evolved into the Integrated Fire Management strategy, using prescribed burns at particular times of year so as to prevent large-scale destruction when the hot and dry wildfire season arrives. Traditional knowledge is the basis for all the work of prescribed burns in indigenous territories and is already being carried out in 7 Brazilian states (Mato Grosso, Roraima, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goias, Maranhao, Tocantins, Amazonas) throughout roughly 11 million hectares of indigenous territories.

    See it in practice in this short film Burning the Bananal.

    Societies across the world will struggle to deal with the increasing impacts of climate change – at this crucial juncture in our humanity we need to listen, learn, respect and support indigenous traditional knowledge.

  • 02:32 Now Playing

    Yanomami Mushrooms: from forest to table

    The Yanomami Mushrooms are the first edible mushrooms native from the Amazon. Launched in 2016, the ingredient of the forest has reached different parts of Brazil and of the world, carrying with it the value of the territory and indigenous knowledge, as well a great flavor. The sale of the Yanomami Mushroom is part of an effort to ensure the well-being of the indigenous communities, both now and in the future, as they live the challenges brought about by a recent but striking contact with the non-indigenous world and are threatened by constant invasions of gold miners.

  • 08:58 Now Playing

    Reunion - Peru

    Indigenous Haramkbut leaders lead journey to rediscover ancient sacred site to connect with their cultural past and protect their future.

  • 8:28 Now Playing

    Behind the Bayano

    Film by Ivan Jaripio, indigenous filmmaker from the Embera community of Piriati, Panama.

    A hydroelectric power station was constructed in Panama in the 1970s – displacing indigenous Embera communities. Despite agreement from the state that their relocation would enable them to remake their lives through their traditions and customs, 40 years later they continue to fight against the erosion of their culture.

  • 6:06 Now Playing

    Being Ember√°

    Reclaiming and strengthening indigenous culture is vital to maintaining ancestral connections to nature. This must be passed onto future generations by celebrating indigenous traditions. Embera youth are spearheading a cultural revival, after decades of assimilation, through traditional body painting and storytelling. Meanwhile sustainable community forestry initiatives are creating low impact income for communities that rely on healthy forests for their survival.

  • 00:57 Now Playing
    Girl besides flowers, Environmental tax to maintain forests in Costa Rica - If Not Us Then Who?

    "We are a seed" - Tonnia Fernandez Solis - Bribri people

    A few words from Tonnia Fernandez Solis. 1 minute of wisdom coming straight from the heart. Tonnia is coming from the Bribri Talamanca indigenous community in Costa Rica.

  • 01:05 Now Playing

    "It will be passed on to our children" - Bans Lopez - Miskitu people

    In 2013 the Honduran government granted almost 7% of its territory to the indigenous Miskito people who have lived traditionally on this land for centuries. Bans Lopez, a respected elder of community, shares his thoughts about Miskito people relation to the land.

  • 3:34 Now Playing


    A powerful film by Ivan Jaripio, Embera indigenous filmmaker from Panama. In this short creative film he contrasts indigenous traditions with the contemporary world of Panama. Faced with the territorial and cultural threat of modernization, the resistance of the indigenous peoples to defend their traditions is urgent.

Playlist - Demand #5: Ancestral Knowledge

Global indigenous leaders are calling for 5 demands, in this series of playlists we explore each demand in turn.

Demand #5: Ancestral Knowledge

Appealing for the valuation and incorporation of ancestral knowledge on the policies to prevent and face climate change.

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